The IOF has given clarification for those who wish to host events in the 2021 season ©IOF

The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) will allow late applications from potential organisers of 2021 World Ranking Events (WRE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The IOF would like to receive the majority of WRE applications for the 2021 season as soon as possible, but will also be more flexible about late applications," the IOF said.

There was also specification outlining that any late applications must be sent in within three months of the event date.

But there will be no late application fee for the 2021 season due to uncertainties surrounding the calendar.

Events cancelled due to the pandemic will not have a service fee charged by the IOF, while postponement of events will largely be approved by the governing body without losing its WRE status, providing a decision is made up to two weeks before the scheduled start of the competition.

Orienteering events have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images
Orienteering events have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images

Concerns over international travel restrictions have also been addressed by the IOF, which allowed WRE competitions to start again on August 1.

"The IOF is aware that not all Federations have the same ability to stage WREs and also that not all athletes have the same possibilities to travel to international events," the IOF said in a statement.

"However, in these times of uncertainties and rapid changes, the IOF wants to keep a straightforward and open approach with no specific rules for countries and regions and believes it is fair to let Federations and WRE organisers decide for themselves the sustainability of staging WREs."

The IOF also stated regional or national WREs would be permitted as long as they are within the rules of the governing body.

The IOF cancelled the European Junior and Youth Orienteering Championships earlier this month due to the COVID-19 crisis.