Saina Nehwal blasts All England organisers for prioritising money over player welfare

Sania Nehwal laid into the organisers of the All England Championships for going ahead with the event despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal's chances of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics took a hit after she made a first-round exit from the All England Championships, following a loss to Japanese nemesis Akane Yamaguchi.   -  Getty Images

India badminton ace Saina Nehwal took on the organisers of the All England Championship by alleging that they chose to prioritise monetary benefit over player welfare despite the ongoing COVID-19 scare.

The All England Open was one of the very few sporting events that went ahead at a time when the sporting world came to a halt owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Only thing I can think of is that rather than the players welfare n feelings, financial reasons were given more importance. Otherwise there was no other reason for the #AllEnglandOpen2020 to go on last week.." she wrote on Twitter.

 

Saina was responding to Danish shuttler Mads Conrad-Peterson, who also slammed the event organisers. "With the world closing down due to the corona virus I get worried and ashamed that All England was played under completely normal standards. It can take up to 14 days before you feel that you are sick. Can’t help to be a little nervous :( Terrible decision," he wrote.

Saina also found support from fellow Indian shuttlers Ashwini Ponnappa and Parupalli Kashyap. 

Kashyap, who is married to Saina, said, "Exactly .. just can’t understand how it took place and how we all were under pressure to play the event."

Saina’s chances of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics took a hit after she made a first-round exit from the All England Championships, following a loss to Japanese nemesis Akane Yamaguchi. P. V. Sindhu, meanwhile, lost to Nozomi Okuhara in the quarters.

  Dugout videos