Bansko is set to stage the 2021 Alpine Junior World Ski Championships ©Getty Images

The number of participants will be reduced and no spectators will be permitted at next year's International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Junior World Ski Championships, it has been confirmed.

Bansko in Bulgaria has been awarded the rights to stage the event, scheduled to take place from March 1 to 10 in 2021.

But the competition will be held against the backdrop of the global health crisis with a series of measures imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The FIS has confirmed the programme will be adapted to include three individual races per gender instead of five, although it has not been confirmed which events they will be, and a separation of the flows between men's and women's teams.

There will be fewer competitors than usual while teams will be asked to arrive and leave the event in "separate waves".

FIS said the competition would also take place "without any side events", including Opening and Closing Ceremonies, while no spectators will be allowed to watch the action.

Magdalena Egger of Austria won three golds at last year's Alpine Junior World Ski Championships ©Facebook
Magdalena Egger of Austria won three golds at last year's Alpine Junior World Ski Championships ©Facebook

"Although this is a very challenging global and local situation we really hope that we will be able to deliver high class events with a positive attitude and successful outcome, which will add value for our sports and will bring on the stage a new generation of promising young talents," said Georgi Bobev, vice-president of the Bulgarian Ski Association.

Ken Read, chairman of the FIS sub-committee for Alpine youth and children's questions, added: "We are very pleased to receive the confirmation for Bansko 2021.

"This event is the most important of each winter for our junior competitors and coaches.

"It keeps the motivation high for the future."

This year's Alpine Junior World Ski Championships were cancelled after five days of competition due to the threat of coronavirus in Norway.

More than 300 athletes from 40 countries attended the event in Narvik in March, but it was forced to finish with three days left and five competitions uncompleted.

Bulgaria has recorded about 168,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths from coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.