SPORTS

BWF Announces Suspension Of Badminton Tournaments Due To Escalation Of COVID-19 Outbreak

World badminton governing body BWF has suspended all tournaments from March 16 to April 12 due to escalation of COVID-19 outbreak, coming into effect following the completion of the All England Open.
15 Mar 2020 09:15
BWF Announces Suspension Of Badminton Tournaments Due To Escalation Of COVID-19 Outbreak
The BWF logo. (bwfbadminton.com)

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday announced the suspension of all BWF World Tour and other BWF-sanctioned tournaments from Monday 16 March until Sunday April 12 due to the escalation of COVID 19 outbreak.

“The escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has led the BWF, in close consultation and consensus with its Host Member Associations and Continental Confederations, to cancel or postpone all tournaments in this period due to heightened travel and quarantine restrictions in place and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this causes to the movement of badminton athletes,” BWF said in a statement.

“BWF equally has strong considerations for the health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community in general,” it said.

Tournaments affected include the Swiss Open, India Open, Orleans Masters, Malaysia Open, and Singapore Open, as well as a number of international Grade 3 tournaments, said BWF.

Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China loses to Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the men's singles quarterfinals at the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, Britain, on March 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Tim Ireland)

Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China loses to Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles quarterfinals at the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, Britain, on March 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Tim Ireland)

The suspension of the circuit will come into effect following the completion of the All England Open in Birmingham, England, on Sunday 15 March.

For the ongoing All England Open, BWF said it and the Badminton England had been in constant communication with government officials and relevant authorities in the United Kingdom in relation to any possible disruption to the tournament.

“Both parties are satisfied with the British government’s most recent advisory issued Friday morning UK time to continue with the staging of the tournament,” said the badminton world governing body.

“Unless government advice changes, Badminton England remains confident that the robust and comprehensive measures in place before and during the event will minimize the potential risk of the virus,” it said.

“BWF duly accepts this position and that all relevant health, safety and logistical risks have been considered by BWF, Badminton England, tournament organizers, and the local government in reaching this decision,” it added.

BWF said it will make a further announcement on regulations related to Olympic qualification points at a later date, as a number of the tournaments impacted as a result of the suspension fall within the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying period.



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