The organizers of Indonesia’s premier volleyball league, Proliga, have decided to end the 2020 season early, scrapping the finals as a precaution against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Proliga will not name a champion this year for the first time in its history. 

Both the final-four round and the grand final of the 2020 Proliga season have been cancelled due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, Proliga director Hanny S. Surkatty said on Wednesday.

“We’ve already delivered the message to the teams that made it to the final-four round, both in written and verbal statements,” Hanny said. 

Proliga, which is one of the few sustained sports leagues in the country, debuted in 2002.

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The men’s division teams that reached the 2020 final four were Jakarta BNI 46, Surabaya Bhayangkara Samator, Jakarta Pertamina Energy and Palembang Bank Sumsel Babel. The women’s teams that advanced were Jakarta Pertamina Energy, Bandung BJB Tandamata, Jakarta PGN Popsivo Polwan and Jakarta BNI 46. 

Previously, following the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the 2020 Proliga organizers decided to relocate the final-four and grand final venue to the Police Gen. Kunarto Volleyball Training Center in Sentul, Bogor, West Java. The matches were set to be held without spectators. 

In the original schedule, the first round of final-four matches was to be held at Joyoboyo Kediri sports arena in East Java from April 3 to 5, while the second round was to be held at Sritex Arena in Surakarta, Central Java, from April 10 to 12. The grand final was supposed to be held at Amongrogo sports arena in Yogyakarta from April 18 to 19.

“Nevertheless, as the coronavirus has spread quickly, we have decided to cancel the final four and grand final altogether,” Hanny said. 

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The league organizers said the cancellation of the finals was also a response to a letter issued by the International Volleyball Federation (IVB) regarding the spread of the virus. 

The organization said it had not been approved to hold the events after the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced an extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency until May 29. (dpk)