Swimming-ISL postpones fourth season to 2023 due to war in Ukraine

(Reuters) - The professional International Swimming League (ISL) announced on Sunday it was postponing to 2023 its fourth season due to the war in Ukraine.

The club-based league launched in 2019, funded by Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin, and features many of the world's top swimmers competing for 10 teams from Europe, the Americas and Japan.

It has faced financial challenges in the past, with some unpaid suppliers threatening legal action in 2020.

"The war in Ukraine is a tragedy, having destroyed lives, families and homes. Many of our ISL colleagues remain trapped in Kyiv, and the conflict seems poised to continue for the foreseeable future," ISL said in a statement.

"In light of this force majeure situation, we cannot, in good faith to our swimmers and our fans, commit to hosting any commercial matches in 2022.

"As such, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Season 4 to 2023."

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling its action a "special military operation".

The league said it was not going away, and would come back stronger.

SwimmingWorld.com reported the ISL had told swimmers it could not ask them to travel and compete on a promise and also needed to settle outstanding payments to them before pushing forward with a new season.

The absence of the 2022 ISL season, which had been due to run from June to October with playoffs in October/November and a final in December, opens up some space in a crowded swimming calendar.

The world championships run from June 18-July 3 in Budapest, with the European championships in Rome in August. The Commonwealth Games will be in Birmingham, England, from July 28 to Aug. 8.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022. Click For Restrictions -

Reuters Japan United States Asia Australia Russia Europe Italy US Ukraine United Kingdom UK Swimming