Badminton World Federation postponed the Thomas and Uber Cup in Denmark after multiple teams pulled-out due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The BWF said it will conduct the Denmark Open from October 13 to 18 but has cancelled the Denmark Masters.

India had announced both the men’s and women’s squads for the prestigious event which was scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from October 3 to 11.

The governing body also stated it is looking into possible alternative dates to reschedule the World Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, but on dates not before 2021.

The Thomas and Uber Cup was hanging in the balance after several countries withdrew due to the coronavirus and a top player expressed concerns about safety.

The twice-postponed men’s and women’s world team championships were set to take place in Denmark next month, and would have been the first international tournaments since the pandemic halted badminton in March.

But Indonesia, 13-time Thomas Cup champions, and South Korea withdrew over the weekend, following Thailand, Australia and Taiwan in deciding to skip the event.

Heavyweights China and Japan were among teams that had not announced a pull-out but with some of Asia’s top talent missing, doubts were swirling over the event.

Leading Indian player Saina Nehwal, who was due to play in the championships, had also questioned whether pushing ahead with them was a good idea.

“Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time ??” she had tweeted.

Cancelling the October 3-11 is a major blow to badminton’s restart, as it was the biggest event left on the calendar this year after the Olympics were postponed.

Responding to the development, Badminton Association of India General Secretary Ajay Singhania said: “BAI has been supporting BWF in its efforts to restart international badminton. However, we stand by this decision taken by BWF considering the challenges in the ongoing time and the health and safety of all concerned.”

Denmark Open 2020 in Odense, a BWF World Tour Event, will proceed as originally planned in the BWF Tournament Calendar (13-18 October).

BWF said: “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 – Denmark Masters 2020 – slated for 20-25 October has been cancelled as it is no longer feasible to conduct this additional event.

“A study into the continued feasibility of the planned Asian leg of the adjusted HSBC BWF World Tour (three BWF World Tour tournaments hosted in an Asian location) is being conducted and BWF will make further announcements as soon as details are clarified.”

(With inputs from AFP)