Skiing worlds off due to virus protocols

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Men's Alpine skiing World Cup races scheduled for Norway next month have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) said on Thursday the March 12-14 cross-country World Cup finals and Nordic Combined World Cup event in Oslo have also been cancelled.

FIS said any replacement venues and dates would be announced when confirmed.

"The Norwegian Ski Association will be unable to host any further competitions through the end of current World Cup season due to the stricter travel and event-related restrictions," FIS said

Norway's strict entry rules for effectively only residents and citizens does not make any exception for sports clubs.

"We're disappointed that our athletes cannot compete at Holmenkollen the second year in a row but understand the government's decision," the ruling body IBU tweeted, hoping "we hope to be back next year."

Last year's World Cup finals in Oslo also had to be cancelled owing to the virus, and the IBU said updates on the finals of the current season would follow in due course.

Women's ski-jumping and Nordic combined events in Lillehammer originally scheduled for this weekend were also cancelled recently.