The COVID-19 has taken 5,000 lives and infected almost 10,000 people globally. Amidst the outbreak of the epidemic, the BWF has suspended or postponed all its sanctioned tournaments, around the world till April 12.
“Tournaments affected include the YONEX Swiss Open 2020, YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2020, Orleans Masters 2020, CELCOM Axiata Malaysia Open 2020, and Singapore Open 2020, as well as a number of international Grade three tournaments,” said the BWF.
#BREAKING: #BWF has suspended all HSBC BWF World Tour & other BWF-sanctioned tournaments from 16 March – 12 April, @YonexAllEngland to continue based on UK gov't advice. More 👇#HSBCBWFbadminton #HSBCRaceToGuangzhou #WorldTour #AllEngland2020 #YAE20 https://t.co/b3qmBUSpht
— BWF (@bwfmedia) March 13, 2020
However, the All England championships were permitted to be completed till March 15 after an advisory issued by the British Government.
The situation has arisen due to heightened travel and quarantine in place and the risk it causes to the safe movement of badminton athletes.
The next tournament after the All England, the BWF World Tour Super 500 India Open was to be held in New Delhi from 24-29 March. It was to be held without spectators after the government decided to stop sports events of large gatherings.
The BWF said in the statement that it is concerned for the health, safety, and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the badminton community in general and therefore, it has taken such a decision. Notably, the decision was taken in consultation with the host Member Associations and Continental Federations.
Several tournaments that are postponed or suspended fall within the Olympic qualification period. Recently, former world no. 1, Saina Nehwal has urged the BWF to extend the Olympic qualification period as most of the tournaments are getting canceled or postponed due to the epidemic. The BWF said that it would announce the Olympic qualification regulations on a later date.
Saina shared her concern in her twitter account saying that the qualification period should be extended as many tournaments are getting cancelled as this would be unfair for players getting close to qualifying for the Olympics.
— Saaina Nehwal (@NSaina) February 29, 2020
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