The circumstances linked to the outbreak of the coronavirus throughout the continent, the travel restrictions and the other measures currently implemented by most European governments forced the LEN Bureau to decide on the postponement of the 2020 European Aquatics Championships, the elective LEN Congress and the European Masters Championships. Each event was due to be held in Budapest in May. The proposed new dates are in August though this might be confirmed only in late May or in early June.

LEN President Paolo Barelli convened a video-conference with the LEN Executive after the organising committee of the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest officially notified LEN that the event couldn’t take place on the planned dates of 11-24 May. The Executive unanimously agreed to postpone the championships, as well as the elective LEN Congress and the European Masters Championships and that proposal got full support from the LEN Bureau through a mail vote.

“After consulting with our stakeholders, we’ve set a tentative date for the championships, 17-30 August” President Barelli said. “However, at this stage it’s difficult if not impossible to plan with a definite time frame so we agreed with the Hungarian organisers to reassess the situation in late May or early June to see if we can confirm these dates as official ones.”

Mr Barelli added that in case things would not get back to normal in the coming months, LEN should consider staging the championships in 2021. “Our common commitment and priority is to protect the health of the athletes and give them the best possible conditions to compete in a safe environment and, at the same time, celebrate a great Aquatic event, something Hungary has always delivered with excellence” he said.

Dr Tunde Szabo, Minister of Sports in Hungary – former Olympic silver medallist swimmer – emphasised that the event could go ahead once everything is settled on the Old Continent. “The European Championships have always been an outstanding meet, a true highlight of any season” she said. “We are committed to stage another great edition in Budapest, which is the birthplace of the European Championships. Ever since the first edition in 1926, each LEN event in Hungary was a tremendous success and we don’t expect any less this time – so we are patient and waiting for the appropriate time to host the championships.”

The minister added that the Europeans should be an event where spectators were present. “We all wish to see packed stands and not an emptied Duna Arena where only the swimmers can enter. The magical atmosphere created by the fans has become a trademark of the aquatic events in Budapest – the participating athletes deserve to enjoy that once again” Ms Szabo said.

The elective LEN Congress as well as the European Masters Championships are planned to be held alongside the main championships, the dates for those events are also to be confirmed later.

As a result of this decision we herewith inform everyone that we temporarily suspend ticket sales until a new date is finalised in the aquatics calendar. All our customers those who have previously purchased a ticket may use their tickets for the same session in line with the new schedule, e.g. anyone who has a ticket for the swimming finals of 16thMay (Saturday) will be able to enter on the 6th competition day of swimming and take their seats at the same sector/row and seat number.

All those ticket holders who for some reason will not be able to attend the LEN Europeans at the newly set date will have the chance to redeem their tickets. We will share further information about this option outlining the exact conditions of redemption when we have the new dates ready.