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14 Sep, 2020
Amidst a rising number of teams pulling out of the tournament already and now whispers of some of the leading players also expressing their concerns, the Thomas & Uber Cup 2020 – slated for October 3rd to 11th, is quite likely to be postponed now.
Indonesia & South Korea – two Asian powerhouses, joined the ranks of Australia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei in putting health concerns before everything else, as they pulled out of the tournament on Saturday taking the total teams withdrawing from the competition to five. While, the sports governing body BWF, did put up a brave front and said that the tournament is expected to go ahead, reports are now emerging that the games could well be postponed and might only happening after the Olympics in 2021.
Media reports in Malaysia, said that the sports governing body remained locked in serious deliberations to find out a viable solution amidst reports that there could be further withdrawals. Some sections of the Asian media also reported that Japan could be the latest to stay out of the competition this year.
September 18th is the final date of confirmation for the teams and it is likely that we haven’t yet seen the last of the teams pulling out.
Badminton Association of Malaysia general secretary Kenny Goh reportedly told AFP, “"If the trend of the withdrawals continue, I think (the Badminton World Federation) has two options -- one is to cancel, the second option is to postpone the finals to a later date,”
Elsewhere, Malaysian outlet Star, reported that “The Thomas Uber Cup finals are virtually off. The finals scheduled to be held in Aarhus Denmark from Oct 3-11 is set to be held after next year’s Tokyo Olympics.”
Meanwhile, India’s ace shuttler and former world no #1 Saina Nehwal also raised the issue of safety on her Twitter handle, wondering, “Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time??” Saina tweeted on Sunday. She also highlighted the fact that seven teams have already pulled out of the tournament over safety concerns.
While, the future of the Thomas & Uber Cup is one thing, the sports governing body will also need to take a quick call on the Denmark Masters & Denmark Open both slated to be in the month of October in Denmark. Will cancellation of the Thomas & Uber Cup adversely affect the remaining two tournaments, or will they be able to salvage those?
It is a rather difficult wicket for the BWF as they have faced criticism on one-side of not being able to restart topflight badminton following the Corona Virus pandemic and now on the other side must face criticism for going ahead with a global tournament with the rising cases of corona virus worldwide.
A decision either way, is expected to come out shortly!