Players’ safety compromised for financial reasons by continuing All England last week: Saina

Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal accused the sport’s administrators of placing money above players’ safety by continuing last week’s All England Championships despite the COVID-19 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 tweeted.

The 30-year-old lost in the opening round of the marquee event, which was among a handful which continued even as the bulk of global sporting calendar was either postponed or cancelled.

The tournament had several players competing despite the risk as it was crucial to achieving ranking points for Olympic qualification. Saina’s Olympic qualification has been severely jeopardised by the early loss in Birmingham.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) put a halt to all its events on the day the event got over.