Snooker's Betfred World Championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament was scheduled to be played from 18 April to 4 May, with the World Snooker Tour announcing its intention to instead stage it at the Crucible in July or August.

The news follows this week's Tour Championship being moved to July, having initially been switched behind closed doors.

WST chairman Barry Hearn said: "These are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it.

"Fans around the world - as well as the 144 players involved - are anxious to know if and when the World Championship will go ahead. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible.

"Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive, with more details to follow next week.

"Live televised coverage of the biggest sporting events can be an inspiration to people around the world in these challenging times so it is important that we strive to find solutions for our tournaments." 

Meanwhile Swimming's European governing body LEN announced the European Aquatics Championships, due to be held from 11-24 May in Budapest, hav been postponed, with proposed new dates of 17-30 August.