The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had decided to kick-start the international season by putting together six tournaments spread across 2 continents that would take place over a period of 66 days. When the announcement was made, it received a mixed response from the global badminton community.
There were some who were happy to see the BWF move forward with the game even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, while others were concerned that the BWF was rushing things.
The first two tournaments that players would have to attend was scheduled to be the Thomas and Uber Cup which was set to take place in Demark from Oct 3 to 11.
BWF Postpones Thomas and Uber Cup
A number of countries including Australia and China informed the BWF early on that they would not take part in the Thomas and Uber Cup as they felt it was too risky to send their players overseas during this time. However, the BWF decided to proceed with the tournament as a number of other countries including India backed the BWF’s decision to restart the international season.
More countries including South Korea and Indonesia pulled out of the tournament late last week. Players from countries who decided to participate in the Thomas and Uber Cup were also concerned about their safety. India’s badminton ace Saina Nehwal was one of the players who questioned the BWF’s decision to continue with the tournament.
The BWF called an emergency meeting in the light of more countries dropping out and players questioning the BWF’s stance on social media. Based on the discussions with top stakeholders, member associations and their commercial partners the BWF decided to postpone the Thomas and Uber Cup to 2021.
The BWF said that given the fact that 7 countries dropped out of the tournament, they felt there was no point proceeding with the Thomas and Uber Cup in October as they would not be in a positive to provide the standard of competition that badminton fans and stakeholders expect.
While the Thomas and Uber Cup was postponed to an undecided date in 2021, the BWF confirmed that the DANISA Denmark Open 2020 will proceed as per schedule. The Denmark Open which is a HSBC BWF World Tour Event will run from Oct 13 to 18 in Odense.
Vimal Kumar Disappointed With Postponement
Vimal Kumar, the former chief national badminton coach of India said he was disappointed to see the Thomas and Uber Cup get postponed to 2021 as it will negatively impact the sport. He gave credit to the BWF for trying to do everything they can to restart the season and get badminton going again.
Kumar said it was disappointing to see multiple countries pull out of the Thomas and Uber Cup. He criticized the top Asian players for not putting themselves out there and said they were responsible for the BWF cancelling the tournaments.
He pointed that while multiple countries like China and Thailand have pulled out citing COVID-19 concerns, their domestic and national circuits continue to run fine. Kumar also said Taipei, Korea and Malaysia had also resumed training and their national players were ready to play but Taipei was the first to drop out.
Kumar also said that while the BWF has promised to proceed with the Denmark Open, it is not a certainty given the attitude of a number of top players who are hesitant to travel and play.
PV Sindhu Not Keen On Denmark Open
Kumar is correct in his assumption as PV Sindhu has already admitted she is not sure if she will play at the Denmark Open. She said she was going to wait till September 27 and see if things approve before making a final decision on her participation.