The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced that the Thomas and Uber Cup will be postponed to next year after a series of withdrawals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scheduled to be held in Denmark from October 3 to 11, the Thomas and Uber Cup was set mark the resumption of international badminton after it came to a halt in March because of the virus.
Countries that withdrew include Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“The decision comes following the withdrawal of a number of participating teams from the championship and the European-leg of the adjusted HSBC BWF World Tour,” a BWF release said.
“The BWF, in collaboration with Badminton Denmark, has for many months been preparing for a safe return to international badminton. This includes going to extreme lengths to preserve the health and safety of all participants such as implementing a bubble system to create a safe badminton ecosystem.
“However, in view of the recent COVID-19 related developments around the world, a number of teams and individual players have elected not to travel to Denmark for tournaments in Aarhus and Odense,” the BWF mentioned.
“After lengthy discussions with key stakeholders, commercial partners and participating Member Associations, it has been realised that we are not in a position to deliver the level of competition reasonably expected by fans and all stakeholders, and as a result have decided that we will not stage this year’s Thomas and Uber Cup finals."
Meanwhile, the DANISA Denmark Open 2020 in Odense, a HSBC BWF World Tour Event, will proceed as originally planned in the BWF Tournament Calendar (October 13-18).
The event will also be used as an opportunity to implement relevant COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Operating Procedures for the planned restart of international badminton tournaments. The second tournament scheduled for Odense – the Victor Denmark Masters 2020 – slated for 20-25 October has been cancelled as it is no longer feasible to conduct this additional event.
India’s build-up to the event has also been hit by the pandemic. A proposed preparatory camp in Hyderabad had to be cancelled after players refused to accept the quarantine conditions set by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The Indian challenge was set to be spearheaded by reigning world champion P. V. Sindhu, who had pulled out initially citing personal reasons but was convinced to reverse her decision by the national federation.
The BWF, which has repeatedly rejigged the international calendar due to the pandemic, said participants at the tournament will not have to undergo quarantine after landing in Denmark if they had a negative COVID-19 test report.
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