THE International Cycle Speedway Federation (ICSF) European Council has made the decision to cancel the 2021 European Cycle Speedway Championships that were scheduled to be held at Astley & Tyldesley.

ICSF delegates agreed with the recommendations of the Astley & Tyldesley and Sheffield Club Committees, as staging clubs, and the British Cycling Cycle Speedway Commission, as the host nation, to cancel the 2021 European Championships in the UK, between July 30 and August 1, due to the continuing Covid pandemic restrictions on travel from overseas to the UK.

The current restrictions in place for people arriving in the UK from an amber listed country are 10 days quarantine, plus three negative paid Covid test results – immediately prior to travel and during the quarantine period, on days two and eight. These restrictions affect most potential overseas visitors for the Championships.

A club statement says: "With the next government revision not scheduled until June 21, and concerns raised by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that the increasing number of cases of the Indian variant of Covid may delay a revision, this does not provide enough time to adequately plan for the staging of the championships.

"To attempt to do so now, would impose a considerable financial risk to the organisers, in the ordering of the purchase or hire of awards, equipment, facilities etc.

"The timescales do not provide sufficient time either to attract a full complement of riders and officials to book travel and accommodation, in order to confidently participate in the Championships."

As a result, the next European Championships will be held in the UK in 2023, from Friday, July 28 to Sunday, July 30.

The Astley & Tyldesley Club have stated that they wish to host the next UK staging of the European Championships in 2023.

"The Astley & Tyldesley Club Committee thanks all those who expressed interest and pledged support and we look forward to renewing that support for the re-staging of the Championships in 2023," reads the statement.

On a brighter note, Astley & Tyldesley will take on Wednesfield in a challenge match, at Gin Pit, M29 7DW, on Sunday. Junior races are at 1 pm, first-team match at 2pm.