The America's Cup World Series will not get underway next month, with the event scheduled to be held in Cagliari, Sardinia, cancelled due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation comes due to the Mediterranean island's proximity to Italy, with Cagliari about 360km from Trapani on the west coast of Sicily.

More than 1000 people have died from the virus in Italy, with more than 15,000 cases diagnosed.

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"It is quite obvious that the ACWS Cagliari event cannot go ahead," a spokesperson for America's Cup defenders Team New Zealand said in a written statement to the Herald.

"The teams are collectively entering discussions on a solution to create an equitable outcome for everyone around the loss and/or availability of sailing time due to the change of circumstance as a result of the global Covid-19/coronavirus situation.

"There will be a formal announcement made in due course."

All sporting events in Italy have been cancelled until April 4 due to the Coronavirus outbreak that has the country in lockdown.

Last week American Magic skipper Dean Barker, who won the America's Cup with Team New Zealand in 2000, labelled the Cagliari event a "risky proposition".

Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast, Barker said they could only work with the information they had at the moment, which was that at this stage the event would go ahead as planned.

"I think you'd say with everything you read about in Italy, it sounds like it's certainly a risky proposition right now, but I'm sure the guys running the event there are talking with the Italian government and what have you to try and understand what's required," Barker said.

"You hear about football matches and things with no one in the stadiums and all the travel bans around Northern Italy. So, definitely, you do wonder how likely it is that it will happen."


The opening leg of the America's Cup World Series is the latest in a long list of sporting events to be effected by the threat of the virus. All major American sports that are in progress of were about to begin their season have suspended play, the World Surf League has cancelled or postponed every event they had scheduled in March, while codes such as cricket, rugby union and mixed martial arts in a number of countries will go ahead without live spectators.