Harith Lim has withdrawn from the PDC World Cup of Darts this weekend because of the Singapore government’s travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
The 50-year-old, who was set to represent Singapore in the tournament alongside Paul Lim for the seventh consecutive year, is unable to fly to Austria.
The pair were due to face Hungary in the first round of the World Cup on Friday, but Lim has been forced to pull out, as Singapore are no longer allowing people back in that are travelling from countries in lockdown.
“I went through so much trouble,” Lim told the Weekly Dartscast this morning. “Singapore are really very strict in terms of this Covid-19 virus.
“Our numbers have been very low for one or two months now. Our death rate is at its lowest, but the government is very tight on this pandemic.
“It was so difficult for me to get any approval to fly to any high risk country, like Austria. I finally got approval and did my swab test.
“To come back to Singapore after the tournament, I would have to quarantine in a government-designated facility and I have to pay for that myself.
“But I was OK. I was prepared. I spoke to Paul and he said ‘OK, we’re all set.’ Then on Sunday we got the news that Austria is going into a lockdown.
“I was going to fly on Tuesday (tomorrow) and I had to confirm my flight out and spoke to the relevant authorities. I was told I wouldn’t be able to go, as we’re not allowed to come back from a country that’s on lockdown.”
The absence of the Lims is a blow to the tournament, which was originally due to be held in Germany back in June, but due to the virus has been moved to Austria and rescheduled for this weekend.
The Singapore duo have claimed several high-profile scalps in the World Cup in recent years, none bigger than in 2017 when they knocked out the top seeds Scotland, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, in the first round.
“Unfortunately I can’t make the trip for the World Cup this time round,” Lim said. “It’s very disappointing after all that I’ve been through.
“Me and Paul have been at the World Cup since 2014 when we played together for the first time. We always look forward to it.
“The World Cup is such a great event, but unfortunately the virus is in control and we can’t do much. Singapore are really strict right now and don’t want to take the risk. They can’t make any exceptions. We just have to abide by it and follow the rules.”
The PDC have confirmed this afternoon that Portugal will make their debut in the World Cup, replacing Singapore, with recent European Tour winner Jose De Sousa partnering up with Jose Marques.