The 2020 European Cross Country Championships in Dublin have been cancelled due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the cancellation of this year's European Athletics Championships in Paris, the event in the Irish capital scheduled for December 13 was deemed as the "last opportunity" to stage a major European event in 2020.
However, a decision was made to call it off after European Athletics bosses spoke with the Fingal-Dublin 2020 Local Organising Committee about concerns over the COVID-19 situation at an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.
A statement from European Athletics cited the "overall uncertainty on hosting mass sporting events", the "existing sanitary restrictions in Ireland" and the "travel restrictions imposed across Europe" as the reasons behind the cancellation.
But European Athletics' Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov insisted it was a "very tough choice" to make.
"Following the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championship a few months ago, this was the last opportunity for a major European Athletics event this year and cancelling it was not an option we chose lightly," Karamarinov said.
"I know that all the athletes and entire athletics community were looking forward to this event but I ask them to keep heart.
"I would like to pay tribute to both the local organising committee for their commitment and hard work to date, and to Athletics Ireland for their fantastic support while we deal with these difficult times for our sport."
The event was scheduled to be held at Dublin's National Sports Campus and was set to be Athletics Ireland's first staging of the European Cross Country Championships since 2009.
Liam Hennessy, chairman of the Fingal-Dublin 2020 Local Organising Committee, accepted it was the right decision to call it off.
"We are disappointed that Fingal-Dublin will not have the opportunity to host the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2020," Hennessy added.
"But we feel this was the only decision to make based on the current situation regarding COVID-19."