Coronavirus pandemic: BAI apprises BWF on travel advisory issued by New Delhi as doubts over India Open persist

BAI has apprised the BWF on the latest travel advisory issued by the government, which might affect the India Open Super 500 tournament, a crucial event for the Tokyo Olympic qualification.

Press Trust of India March 12, 2020 20:47:16 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: BAI apprises BWF on travel advisory issued by New Delhi as doubts over India Open persist
  • BAI and BWF had issued a joint statement informing that the India Open will be held without any spectators

  • However, the revised travel advisory issued by the government seems to have raised fresh concerns about the tournament

  • The COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed over 4,000 lives and infected more than 100,000 people globally

New Delhi: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has apprised the world body (BWF) on the latest travel advisory issued by the government, which might affect the India Open Super 500 tournament, a crucial event for the Tokyo Olympic qualification.

BAI and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had issued a joint statement on Wednesday, informing that the event will be held without any spectators due to the global novel coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus pandemic BAI apprises BWF on travel advisory issued by New Delhi as doubts over India Open persist

Representative image. AFP

However, the revised travel advisory issued by the government seems to have raised fresh concerns about the tournament.

According to the advisory, "All existing visas, expect diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020."

"This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure," the letter said.

It has also put this year's Indian Premier League under threat as no foreign player will be available till 15 April due to the new visa restrictions imposed.

"We have sent the latest advisory to the BWF. They are monitoring the situation. Being hosts we are continuing our preparations for the event," a BAI official said.

The COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed over 4,000 lives and infected more than 100,000 people globally, has forced the postponement of four Olympic qualifying badminton events so far — Lingshui China Masters (25 February to 1 March), Vietnam International Challenge (24-29 March), German Open (3 to 8 March) and Polish Open (26-29 March).

Meanwhile, the Sports ministry has asked all national federations, including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.

Earlier, the Shooting World Cup and the Indian Open golf tournament were postponed.

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