Is it safe to conduct Thomas & Uber Cup during the Covid-19 times?
This question was raised by Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal but echoed by almost every badminton playing nation and players worldwide.
Under pressure from every quarter, the Badminton World Federation is all set to postponed the Thomas & Uber Cup. According to Badminton Association of Malaysia official, BWF has called for a virtual emergency council meeting today following a spate of withdrawals ahead of the Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 3-11. After the meeting, announcement of postponement will be announced officially.
According to BAM official, BWF will either cancel the tournament or will conduct it after Tokyo Olympics. In an interview to The Star, BAM Sec Kenny Goh declared that the tournament is all set to be postponed.
“The Thomas Uber Cup finals are virtually off. The finals scheduled to be held in Aarhus Denmark from Oct 3-11 is set to be held after next year’s Tokyo Olympics,” the KualaLumpur based paper reported.
“BWF will decide today. They will have to make a complete change to the schedule of the tournament” said Kenny Goh
Thomas & Uber Cup : 7 Countries including Indonesia, Korea have withdrawn already
A total of 7 countries including powerhouses Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand have pulled out due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The others are Taiwan and Australia.
In the badminton circles it is being rumoured that China and Japan, the defending Thomas Cup and Uber Cup champions, also expected to follow suit.
Thomas & Uber Cup participation: What is India’s stand ?
Nehwal has already tweeted her apprehensions following the withdrawal of seven countries from the tournament due to the rising COVID-19 cases across the globe.
“7 countries have withdrawn from tournament cause of the pandemic…Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time ??… (Thomas and Uber Cup 2020) #coronavirus,” she tweeted.
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 will be spearheaded by reigning world champion PV Sindhu, who had pulled out initially citing personal reasons but was convinced to reverse her decision by the federation.
However, world bronze-winner B Sai Praneeth has decided to give it a miss due to a knee injury.