The Badminton World Federation, after much deliberation, suspended all tournaments from March 16 to April 12. With sporting federations all over the world postponing or cancelling events, BWF was hesitant and invited a lot of flak from the current players, many of whom are playing in the ongoing All England Championships.
Indian stars, including former world No 1 Saina Nehwal, her husband Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram had slammed the BWF for “taking things too lightly” and putting the lives of the players “under risk”.
As the All England Championships draws to a close, the upcoming big events including Swiss Open, India Open, Singapore and the Malaysia Open will be among the suspended events.
BWF released a statement on its website: “The escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has led the BWF, in close consultation and consensus with its Host Member Associations and Continental Confederations, to cancel or postpone all tournaments in this period due to heightened travel and quarantine restrictions in place and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this causes to the movement of badminton athletes.
“BWF equally has strong considerations for the health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community in general.
“Tournaments affected include the Swiss Open 2020, India Open 2020, Orleans Masters 2020, Malaysia Open 2020, and Singapore Open 2020, as well as a number of international Grade 3 tournaments.
“The suspension of the circuit will come into effect following the completion of the YONEX All England Open 2020 in Birmingham, England, on Sunday 15 March.”