Dutton makes World Cup contingency plans

World Cup organisers have come up with contingency plans should Covid-19 dictate that next year’s competition can’t take place.

RLWC2021 Chief Executive Jon Dutton admitted that pushing the competition back was a “last resort” and they are still planning for the event to take place next year.

But with the pandemic continuing to disrupt daily life, and fans yet to be allowed back into stadia in this country, Dutton conceded that plans have been made.

“We’ve got a number of different scenarios, from socially-distanced games all the way through to a postponement,” he said.

“But we’re in the very best shape possible 12 months out from the tournament, given the environment and the world we find ourselves in.

“There are different models, ranging from 25% crowds to just up above 50% if that’s what we have to do. But that will all be dictated to us.

“The final option is postponement by a year, and moving it back, but that’s not something we’re focused on. The worst case is that it doesn’t go ahead as planned. 2022 is a busy year of sport with some big events, including the Commonwealth Games, so that would be troublesome for us.

“We have the benefit of the next 12 months to shape our planning. We have offered fans a 100% refund guarantee if the tournament is disrupted by reduced capacities. To increase those reassurances around buying a ticket, fans can purchase tickets to the tournament through finance options too.”

Dutton said that he couldn’t envisage the tournament taking place behind closed doors.

“As I say, we have a backup plan in place to move it back by 12 months, but that’s complicated. I must reiterate that we’re in the best possible place as things stand.”

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