Chengdu is set to hold the World University Games two years later than first planned ©Getty Images

International University Sports Federation (FISU) Acting President Leonz Eder has said although it is Chengdu's "last chance" to hold the FISU World University Games, he is confident COVID-19 restrictions will have eased to allow the event to finally go ahead in 2023.

COVID-19 wiped FISU's Winter and Summer World University Games from the 2021 calendar, with the postponed Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade being cancelled outright in December last year due to late restrictions from the Swiss Government.

Chengdu 2021 was supposed to take place last year before being moved to 2022 once the COVID-19 pandemic isolated China from the rest of the world.

With COVID-19 restrictions remaining in place in the country even today, several international sporting competitions have been cancelled or delayed.

The International Table Tennis Federation's World Team Table Tennis Championships are due to begin in the city on Friday (September 30) and are being held in a closed loop management system, similar to that in operation for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Chengdu 2021 was once again delayed by a year, moving to the new dates of July 28 to August 8 2023, and into the spot on the calendar where the Yekaterinburg 2023 Summer World University Games were supposed to take place, before the invasion of Ukraine saw FISU put a pause on plans to visit Russia.

Now, the Acting President sees this as the last shot, but feels positive about the Games going ahead.

"I am confident that we will go to Chengdu and that the restrictions will be less than they were in the last year," said Eder exclusively to insidethegames.

"We're really looking forward to these Games.

"We already postponed the Chengdu Games two times and this is the last chance."

The next National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is scheduled for October ©Getty Images
The next National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is scheduled for October ©Getty Images

He cites the loosening of restrictions in Hong Kong as an assurance for FISU, with quarantine measures ended there, following blessing from China.

China currently has a policy of seven days in quarantine and three days home monitoring.

Opinions differ on when these rules will be relaxed, with some believing as late as the second quarter of 2023.

Eder believes there will be no updates until after the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where major policy decisions are made, on October 16.

"This is the most important event for China right now and before this happens I don't think we have some changes," added Eder.

"China really wants these Games and the organisers are doing a great job.

"FISU would like to have these Games and the preparations are going so well.

"We are still facing the problems that we cannot send too many people because of quarantine, but we hope by the end of the year the situation will be much better and the Government of China will try for economical reasons to get back on track with COVID-19.

"Everybody would like to go there, of course with some restrictions.

"At this moment I am confident we will have the Games there."

Following on from Chengdu, Rhine-Ruhr in Germany and Turin in Italy are set to hold the 2025 FISU Summer and Winter World University Games respectively.