Organisers of the annual Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Tournament have been forced to postpone the event following the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.
The third edition of the tournament was scheduled to take place in Nigerian capital Abuja on October 11 and 12 and was expected to attract more than 400 athletes from 11 countries.
But a decision was taken by organisers to postpone the event indefinitely in light of concerns over the growing number of cases of Ebola being reported in Nigeria and the surrounding region in recent weeks.
Chika Chukwumerije, who founded and is chief executive of the CSSF, made the announcement.
"In recent weeks, a new challenge in the form of the Ebola epidemic in the West Africa region has struck a fearful chord across the nation, as attempts have been stepped up by the relevant authorities to confront this novel danger on Nigeria's shores," said Chukwumerije, winner of an Olympic bronze medal at Beijing 2008.
He had set up the CSSF to help use taekwondo to empower the youth of Nigeria and promote education among underprivileged athletes.
"The best case scenario of tackling the viral spread is projected by some experts to be in the range of three to six months, during which the CCSF Open is scheduled to take place," said Chukwumerije.
"In light of the slim chance of providing an ideal environment for a highly unlikely scenario of an Ebola viral spread, organisers of the CCSF Open have decided to err on the side of caution and postpone Nigeria's best taekwondo tournament till further notice.
"We would carefully watch the turn of events over the coming weeks and months before announcing a new date.
"We totally share in the overwhelming disappointment of all our major stakeholders - athletes, coaches, school children, and foreign guests - over this huge decision, but the policy is the CCSF is clear about putting the safety of stakeholders first in all our programmes and activities.
"We will continue to have other local and regional programmes and stay focused on achieving our long-term goals."
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared the outbreak of Ebola "a national emergency" and approved more than £6.5 million ($11 million/€8.2 million) to help contain the spread of virus which attacks the central nervous system.
The move comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the spread of the virus in West Africa was an international health emergency.
WHO says 961 people have died from Ebola in West Africa this year, two of them in Nigeria.
Nigeria is the fourth West African country involved in the outbreak which is suspected of originating in Guinea before spreading to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
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