European Tour postpones two tournaments due to coronavirus

Golf events scheduled for Kuala Lumpur and China in April have been postponed, though it is hoped they can still be staged in 2020.

The Maybank Championship will not now take place in April.   -  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The European Tour has announced the Maybank Championship and the China Open have been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Both tournaments were set to be held in Asia during April, though it is still hoped they may be rescheduled for later in the season.

The Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur was to host the Maybank Championship from April 16-19, a week before the China Open at Genzon Golf Club.

"The well-being of our players, spectators and staff is always our absolute priority," Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said in a statement.

"While it is therefore regrettable that the Maybank Championship and China Open have been postponed, we feel this is the correct course of action at this time.

"We are currently investigating alternative dates for both events."

The outbreak of the coronavirus - given the name Covid-19 - has caused the postponement of several major sporting events, including Formula One's Chinese Grand Prix.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing will now take place next year instead, while domestic football at all levels in China has been halted in order to help control the spread of the virus.

However, Tokyo 2020 organisers remain confident the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.