The upcoming beach volleyball event in Yangzhou has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak ©FIVB

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has announced it has postponed its upcoming four-star beach event in Chinese city Yangzhou due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following consultation between the FIVB, Chinese Volleyball Association and the relevant authorities, a joint decision has been made to delay the event, due to have taken place from April 22 to 26, until after this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

It means players looking to earn points they need to qualify for Tokyo 2020 will have one less chance to rise in the rankings.

"The FIVB expresses its deepest sympathy and solidarity to the whole volleyball community in China, following the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on the country, its people and the millions of passionate volleyball players and fans," a statement from the world governing body reads.

"We understand that China is taking all necessary measures to contain the outbreak, so that it can reassume its rightful place on the world volleyball stage as soon as possible. 

"The health and well-being of our athletes, officials and fans is our number one priority and so it was mutually decided that postponing the event to a later date was in the best interests of everyone involved."

There have now been more than 73,000 cases of coronavirus ©Getty Images
There have now been more than 73,000 cases of coronavirus ©Getty Images

The statement continues: "The FIVB will continue to carefully monitor the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and will remain in regular consultation with Chinese authorities as well as global authorities, such as the World Health Organization, to ensure that we always have the very latest information."

A further three beach volleyball events are scheduled to be held in China prior to Tokyo 2020.

Siming is set to play host to a four-star event from April 29 to May 3, before a three-star event in Jinjiang from May 13 to 17 and two-star event in Qidong from July 9 to 12.

There have now been more than 73,000 cases of coronavirus since it originated in Chinese city Wuhan.

More than 1,800 people have died with the vast majority of these in China.

Numerous sporting events have been postponed or cancelled, with cases confirmed in 29 countries and territories.