Organisers said the competition founded by Prince Harry – due to take place at The Hague this year – was likely to be rescheduled to May or June 2021.
Harry said in an emotional video on Twitter: ‘I’m really sorry we couldn’t make this happen. This was an incredibly difficult decision for all of us to have to make.’
The 35-year-old added that it was the ‘most sensible and the safest option for all of you, for your families and everybody else involved in these games.’
‘I know how disappointed you all must be, this is a focus that so many of you need, I would encourage you to maintain that focus as best you can.’
The competition brings together current and former wounded, injured or sick servicemen and women from more than 20 countries.
Prince Harry, who served with the British military in Afghanistan, was set to travel to the Netherlands with the Duchess of Sussex to attend the event.
An Invictus Games Foundation spokesman said: ‘The decision was also taken in recognition of the anticipated strain on medical staff and the infrastructure required in dealing with the pandemic.
‘We did not wish to add to the complexity of the response, or increase the risk to those involved, by bringing together an international and potentially vulnerable audience.’
Organisers said they are ‘investigating all options to reschedule the Invictus Games, subject to the availability of key facilities and resources, to May or June 2021.’
They are the latest in a series of sporting events to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, including the Euro 2020 football championships.
Harry was in The Hague last year to mark one year until the games – and was presented with a romper suit for his then new-born son Archie.
The games would have been one of his first public appearances since he and his wife Meghan withdrew from royal duties.
The Netherlands has reported 2,460 coronavirus cases including 76 deaths.
Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013.
At the event he saw how injured American military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.
He went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Mark Duell