New virus rules in Norway rule out winter sports hosting

OBERHOFEN, Switzerland — Winter sports hub Norway can no longer host World Cup skiing events this season because of stricter pandemic-related rules imposed Thursday by the national government.

The International Ski Federation cited “stricter travel and event-related restrictions” for canceling all its events in the Nordic country. They include a men’s downhill in Alpine skiing at Kvitfjell and the World Cup finals in cross-country skiing at Lillehammer.

The International Biathlon Union said its World Cup finals also cannot take place at Holmenkollen near Oslo from March 18-21.

Both governing bodies said they will look for alternative venues outside Norway for the scheduled events.

Soccer was also affected in Norway even before the latest tightening of COVID-19 protocols.

Molde’s home game in the Europa League next week against German team Hoffenheim was moved to Spain.

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