A leg of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Estonia has been cancelled ©Getty Images

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced the cancellation of two FIS World Cup events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first of these is the Nordic combined event initially scheduled to take place in Otepää in Estonia from January 1 to 3 2021 after the Organising Committee of the event and the Estonian Ski Association decided to withdraw as hosts due to the rise in daily coronavirus cases.

It also cited financial issues accumulated over the summer and winter, partly due to the rise in cost of television production, sponsoring issues and rising organisational costs.

"We, in the Estonian Ski Association are grateful to FIS for the opportunity to organise the Nordic Combined World Cup stage in Otepää," said Ago Markvadt, head of the Organising Committee.

"We were ready to organise the World Cup competitions in Estonia and have already put large efforts in and made all possible preparations.

"This was not an easy decision for us, but due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Estonia and the additional stresses on the budget, we felt we had no choice."

It was set to host two days of competition for both men and women, with it being the season opener at the time of cancellation in the Women's World Cup. 

Copper Mountain in the US has pulled its support for a leg of the FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup too ©Getty Images
Copper Mountain in the US has pulled its support for a leg of the FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup too ©Getty Images

Elsewhere, the FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup events scheduled to take place on Copper Mountain in Colorado in the United States, have also been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Initially scheduled for December 17 to 19, organisers stated that the resort pulled its backing to fund its regular skiing season for the public, in a bid to save more money.

US Ski and Snowboard are working with the FIS to find a possible replacement.

"While it's unfortunate that we are unable to host World Cups at Copper Mountain this season, we understand that the resort must prioritise regular ski and ride operations throughout the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape," said US Ski and Snowboard President and chief executive, Tiger Shaw.

"US Ski and Snowboard would like to express gratitude to everyone at Copper Mountain for their dedication, planning and collaboration throughout the planning process for these events.

"We remain hopeful and confident in our ability to work with our resort partners for the remaining domestic World Cups planned for this season."

It follows on from the cancellation of an FIS Ski Cross World Cup event in Innichen/San Candido in Italy, with more events tentatively scheduled for the 2020-2021 season across skiing disciplines.