Badminton Asia reject blame for Thomas & Uber Cup postponement on Asian countries

By Nicolas Anil 24 September 2020 54
Badminton Asia reject blame for Thomas & Uber Cup postponement on Asian countries
Asian countries were not the downfall of the 2020 Thomas & Uber Cup and should not be blamed for the postponement of the biennial tournament to next year, said the sport’s continental body Badminton Asia.

The competition was called off by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) last week after much deliberation and scrutiny, including from former world number one Lee Chong Wei who slammed the world body as selfish.

The competition, originally scheduled to take place from October 3rd to 11th in Denmark, was already heading towards being a diluted affair following the withdrawal of 13-time champions Indonesia, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.

"I think it is the right and prerogative of every participating country to decide if they want to travel to play or not. I do not think this is about Asian countries pulling out just to make life difficult for everybody.

"These claims emerged because Denmark happened to be hosts. Will the same be said if an Asian country hosted the event?" Badminton Asia chief operation officer Saw Chit Boon told The Star.

There have been mixed reactions from players to the tournament being pushed to next year.

Malaysian men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia revealed he was hesitant to make the trip to Denmark after conversations with Viktor Axelsen, who cautioned of the spike of Covid-19 cases in the country.

World number three Anders Antonsen, meanwhile, was upset with the world body for delaying the much anticipated event.

"Are we sitting around waiting for a vaccine to come before badminton can start up again? BWF it’s time to step up! Make the best and safest setup you possibly can and run the tournaments. Whoever attends, attends. If not the sport will just wither away and die," said the Dane on Instagram.

The Denmark Open, however, will take place as planned from October 13th to 18th.

Several Asian shuttlers, including world number two men’s singles Chou Tien-chen as well as India’s K.Srikanth and Saina Nehwal, are believed to be taking part in it.

On the Asian front, Thailand have agreed to host the Asian leg, which could see up to three events take place in November, and the BWF will make a decision on the matter soon.

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Nicolas Anil