M-1 Global was planning its return to South Korea after a decade of absence yet unforeseen circumstances have postponed next week’s festivities.

M-1 Challenge 106 was set for February 1st at the Suwon Convention Center. Exactly a week out from the event, the organization officially announced the cancellation via Instagram:

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⛔ Турнир #M1Challenge106 отменен. Турнир Лиги M-1 Global, запланированный на 1-е февраля в южнокорейском Сувоне отменен, в связи со вспышкой короновирусной инфекции в азиатских государствах. По распоряжению правительства на время борьбы с инфекцией в стране запрещены все культурно-массовые мероприятия. Вадим Финкельштейн: Мы очень расстроены тем, что турнир пришлось отменить. Мы очень хотели начать год с большого яркого турнира в Корее, но в тоже время понимаем, что от нас ничего не зависит. Вчера мы получили официальное письмо о том, что правительство Южной Кореи запретило все массовые мероприятия. Очень надеемся, что ситуация с эпидемией коронавируса в Азии стабилизируется и мы еще в этом году проведем турнир в Корее

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Kim Jang Jun, chairman of the Korea Sambo World Martial Arts Association (KSA), sent an official request to Vadim Finkelchtien of M-1 Global to reschedule the event due to government red tape pertaining to the use of the facilities at Suwon Convention Center.

The issues are not clearly stated in the letter but with the Lunar New Year, all administrative work from government agencies has been put on hold. The holiday runs from January 24th to the 27th, which indicates nothing can be determined until the 28th at the earliest date, only giving the promotion four days until showtime if everything is resolved.

In addition to these unfortunate revelations, the Korean government has restricted any public gatherings and warned citizens through the media to avoid going to these locations with the current state of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, which will highly affect the attendance of the event.

According to The Korea Times, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has confirmed two cases of the Wuhan coronavirus as of January 25, with many under close observation.

In a message sent out shortly after the cancellation was announced to all the fighters, the KSA stated that it is working closely with M-1 headquarters in Russia to minimize the damage and reschedule the event as soon as possible.