04 Sep 2020

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) expresses its gratitude to Germany and the Deutscher Tischtennis-Bund (DTTB) for their support in times of unprecedented uncertainty.

Germany had been preparing hard to host this year’s Men’s World Cup, originally set to take place in Düsseldorf, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected plans for the event in the context of the international table tennis calendar at large.

The ITTF places on record its thanks to Germany and the DTTB who, having put in diligent preparations to stage this year’s Men’s World Cup, have agreed to let the event go to China as part of the upcoming #RESTART series.

After several months of suspended activities due to the pandemic, the ITTF will be delivering a return to action via its #RESTART series, taking place in China. This regional approach will ensure a smooth transition for athletes, some of whom have already recommenced events on a national level, as well as facilitating that health and safety measures are strictly met to protect athletes, coaches, officials and supporting staff within the ‘bubble’.

The Men’s World Cup is among a trio of events to be staged during the #RESTART series, which also includes the Women’s World Cup and ITTF Finals, three of the most prestigious events in the annual ITTF calendar, which will help to provide some much-needed content for players, fans and the entire international table tennis community.

DTTB President, Michael Geiger, declared: “The decision to respond to the ITTF’s request to renounce the Men’s World Cup in Germany was extremely difficult for us and our partners in Düsseldorf. However, the extraordinary situation in international sport, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led us to put our own interests on hold for the benefit of the entire table tennis community.”

Geiger added: (quote) “Düsseldorf with its ISS Dome is an outstanding location, with which we are also bidding for the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships. We would be very pleased if our goodwill in returning this year’s Men’s World Cup would be rewarded with positive support from the national associations for Germany’s World Championships bid. We hope to be hosts in Düsseldorf again soon after the extremely successful 2017 World Championships.” (end of quote)

ITTF President, Thomas Weikert, emphasised: “The ITTF enjoys a very close and longstanding relationship with Germany, the nation contributing vastly to our sport over many years, hosting some of the world’s best ever table tennis events and producing some of the sport’s biggest stars. On behalf of everyone at the ITTF, I am extremely grateful to our friends at the DTTB for agreeing to let the Men’s World Cup go to China with the best interests of the sport at heart, helping us to deliver a return to international table tennis activity in the face of unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic.”

The ITTF is only responsible for its expressed text and opinions.

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