Dublin will host the 2021 European Cross Country Championships and Turin 2022 after the Italian city agreed to delay its staging by one year ©Getty Images

Dublin will host next year’s European Cross Country Championships after the original hosts, Turin, agreed to shift to 2022.

The Irish capital was originally due to stage this year’s event on December 13 but it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dublin will now host the 2021 edition at the Sport Ireland Campus on the outskirts of Dublin on December 12.

Turin will instead organise the 2022 Championships at La Mandria Park following an agreement reached at the 160th European Athletics Council meeting, which finished yesterday. 

"Unfortunately, Dublin was unable to host this year’s European Cross Country Championships this year but we would like to thank Torino-La Mandria for their cooperation to allow Dublin to stage next year’s event," European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov said.

"Ireland and Italy both have a rich tradition in staging not only continental but also global cross country events so we are naturally delighted to reallocate the next two editions of the championships to two proud and passionate cross country running nations."

Ireland last hosted the European Cross Country Championships in 2009, when Spain’s Alemayehu Bezabeh won the men’s race and Britain’s Hayley Yelling the women’s event.

"We are delighted to be hosting the European Cross Country Championships for 2021 and we would like to thank European Athletics and FIDAL (Italian Athletics Federation) for their support in facilitating the event returning to Ireland next year," Liam Hennessy, the chairman of the Irish Organising Committee, said.

"COVID-19 had resulted in the Championships which were set to take place in Fingal, Dublin next month being cancelled, but we can now look forward to working with Fingal County Council, Sport Ireland and RTÉ to ensure the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships scheduled for 12 December is a memorable occasion for both athletes and spectators."

La Mandria Park in Turin will host the 2022 European Cross Country Championships ©Getty Images
La Mandria Park in Turin will host the 2022 European Cross Country Championships ©Getty Images

Italy will become the first country to stage European Cross Country Championships on four occasions after previous editions in Ferrara in 1998, San Giorgio su Legnano in 2006 and Chia in 2016.

The 1980 Olympic 20 kilometres race walk gold medallist Maurizio Damilano, part of the Promotion Committee for the event in Italy, claimed it was an easy decision to step aside to allow Dublin the opportunity to stage the Championships.

"Together with the Piemonte Region and FIDAL, we have immediately accepted in the spirit of collaboration the request of European Athletics and the Dublin LOC to postpone our European Cross Country Championships in Torino-La Mandria Park to 2022," he said.

"In this difficult time throughout Europe, it seems important to us - with the sporting spirit that has always characterised Italian Athletics - to show our availability towards European Athletics and our friends in Dublin.

"We fully understand the efforts of those who continue working with great dedication for the support and growth of European Athletics."

Last year's Championships were held in Lisbon.

The women's race was won by Turkey's Yasemin Can for the fourth time.

The men's event was won by Sweden's Robel Fsiha, who was subsequently disqualified after failing a drugs test.

The gold medal is now expected to be awarded to Turkey's Aras Kaya.