Coronavirus pandemic: BWF cancels five more tournaments amid COVID-19 outbreak; Thomas and Uber Cup postponed

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday suspended five more tournaments, including three continental championships crucial for Tokyo Olympics qualification but stripped of that significance now, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the host cities.

Press Trust of India March 20, 2020 18:25:11 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: BWF cancels five more tournaments amid COVID-19 outbreak; Thomas and Uber Cup postponed

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday suspended five more tournaments, including three continental championships crucial for Tokyo Olympics qualification but stripped of that significance now, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the host cities.

The announcement came a week after the BWF put a halt to all of its events till 12 April.

 <span class=Coronavirus pandemic BWF cancels five more tournaments amid COVID19 outbreak Thomas and Uber Cup postponed" width="380" height="285" />

Representational image. AFP

"A further five tournaments have also been cancelled or postponed," the BWF said in a statement.

"This includes the suspension of the three Continental Confederation championships scheduled for week 17 on the BWF Tournament Calendar one of the last chances for athletes to gain qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before the 26 April deadline," it added.

The suspended tournaments are Croatian International ( 16-19 April), Peru International 2020 (16-19 April), European Championships (21-26 April), Badminton Asia Championships (21-26 April) and Pan Am Individual Championships 2020 (23-26 April).

"The escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has led the BWF, in close consultation and consensus with its Continental Confederations and Host Member Associations, to confirm the suspension of these tournaments," the BWF said.

The COVID-19 global death toll has climbed past 10,000 with more than 250,000 infected. The BWF had drawn severe criticism from players for continuing with the All England Championships despite the rising threat of the deadly virus.

"The health, safety and well-being of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community remains the top priority for all relevant parties," the BWF said.

"Heightened travel and quarantine restrictions and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this has caused also contributed to the suspension," it added.

The European Championships were scheduled in Ukraine, while the Asia event was to be held in the Philippines.

The Asia Championships had already relocated once, switching from Wuhan, China to Manila due to the COVID-19 outbreak in that city. All top Indian shuttlers, including PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth were scheduled to compete at the event.

"Badminton Pan Am also said it was no longer feasible to stage the XXIV Pan Am Individual Championships 2020 in Peru because of health and safety fears linked to COVID-19 .

"The tournament was originally planned for Guatemala City," the BWF said.

All five tournaments were to be played within the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying period, but will "no longer contribute to Olympic qualifying as they will now fall outside the qualification window."

"BWF will make a further announcement on any implications related to the Olympic qualification period at a later date," the BWF said.

BWF postpones Thomas and Uber Cup finals

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday postponed the Thomas and Uber Cup, the men's and and women's team championships, from earlier scheduled May to new dates in August in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BWF in close consultation and consensus with tournament hosts Badminton Denmark, it has come to the conclusion that due to extraordinary circumstances related to the severe escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally, the tournament could not take place on its originally scheduled dates.

"The BWF can confirm that the TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2020 to be staged in Aarhus, Denmark, from 16-24 May has been postponed until 15-23 August 2020," a BWF statement said.

The postponement of Thomas and Uber Cup came just hours after the BWF suspended five more tournaments, including three continental championships crucial for Tokyo Olympics qualification but stripped of that significance now, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the host cities.

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: "All relevant health, safety and logistical risks have been considered by BWF, Badminton Denmark, tournament organisers, Sport Event Denmark, and the local Aarhus government in reaching this decision.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community is the top priority. Heightened travel and quarantine restrictions and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this has caused has also contributed to the postponement.

"While we look forward to staging this tournament at a later date, our thoughts are first and foremost with everyone affected by this pandemic around the world."

The decision was made with the approval of the BWF Council, Badminton Denmark, Aarhus Municipality and BWF's commercial partner.

BWF has also been forced to move the BWF Members' Forum and AGM 2020. Both are key events on the BWF calendar and will now take place on August 20 and 21 in Aarhus.

Updated Date:

also read

'Come together to defeat BJP': Mamata Banerjee discusses Oppn unity, Pegasus row with Sonia and Rahul
Politics

'Come together to defeat BJP': Mamata Banerjee discusses Oppn unity, Pegasus row with Sonia and Rahul

Banerjee's visit during the ongoing Parliament's Monsoon Session assumes increased significance with the Opposition cornering the Centre on price rise, increasing cost of fuel and COVID-19 pandemic

India records 23% spike in daily COVID-19 cases, reports 38,792 fresh infections
India

India records 23% spike in daily COVID-19 cases, reports 38,792 fresh infections

The active cases have declined to 4,29,946 and comprise 1.39 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.28 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed

India adds 39,742 new COVID-19 cases, 535 deaths in 24 hrs; active caseload drops to 4.08 lakh
India

India adds 39,742 new COVID-19 cases, 535 deaths in 24 hrs; active caseload drops to 4.08 lakh

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.31 percent. It has been less than 3 percent for 34 consecutive days, the health ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.24 percent