This year's SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit will not take place in Beijing as planned ©SportAccord

This year's SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit will not take place in Beijing due to coronavirus, it has been confirmed.

"Contingency options" are instead being explored so it can still take place in another city on the scheduled dates of April 19 to 24.

The major gathering is attended by key officials from across the Olympic Movement and wider sports world.

It is a crucial networking event while many governing bodies hold meetings.

It had been announced in November 2018 that the Chinese capital would host the event. 

"In the past few weeks, we have been following the development of the epidemic closely," said SportAccord President Raffaele Chiulli.

"The Chinese Government has taken effective efforts, unprecedented measures and all possible resources to combat the epidemic. 

"We do believe that the Chinese Government and people in China have the capabilities to have the final win of the war against the virus.

"SportAccord has developed a mutual and respectful working relationship with the Local Organising Committee, which has displayed outstanding professionalism at all times during the excellent preparations for SportAccord 2020 in Beijing. 

"We had no doubt that our hosts would deliver an exceptional SportAccord and we are grateful to Beijing for the support and all the efforts it has made for preparing SportAccord 2020.

"SportAccord 2020 brings nearly 2,000 delegates together worldwide. 

"In addition to that, a significant number of participating countries, organisations, companies and institutions to put on exhibitions during the event. 

Coronavirus is a huge public health concern in China ©Getty Images
Coronavirus is a huge public health concern in China ©Getty Images

"Considering the epidemic in China and around the world and taking into account the various factors of such a force majeure situation and through consultation with the SportAccord 2020 Local Organising Committee, we have reached a difficult decision that SportAccord 2020 will not take place in Beijing. 

"We will continue to collaborate with Beijing and China to promote the healthy development of the international sport community. 

"We apologise for any inconvenience thus caused for International Sports Federations, registered partners, exhibitors and delegates concerned."

Beijing was due to host the Summit at the China National Convention Center.

Partners, exhibitors and delegates who have registered to attend in China will be contacted shortly with updates and further information.

Nis Hatt, the managing director of SportAccord, added: "The Local Organising Committee for SportAccord 2020 in Beijing has been a trusted partner during preparations for the event and has shown excellence throughout the entire planning process."

Several sporting events have been postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus, which originated in Chinese city Wuhan.

Numerous quarantines and travel restrictions are in place across the world.

There have now been more than 60,000 cases and 1,300 deaths, with the vast majority of infected people in China.

A group of 28 countries and territories are affected in all, with the World Health Organization declaring a global emergency.