The Badminton World Federation on Tuesday decided to freeze the world rankings, saying standings as on March 17 will be the basis for entry and seedings when it restarts the international calender that has been thrown haywire owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a clamour for freezing the world rankings with Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, B. Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap and H S Prannoy leading the way in expressing their concerns.
“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can announce it will freeze World Rankings and World Junior Rankings until further notice. The freezing of rankings will be backdated to Week 12, which is the week following the last international tournament that was played the YONEX All England Open 2020,” BWF said in a release.
“The ranking lists issued on 17 March 2020 will serve as a basis for entry and seeding into the next international tournaments although it is difficult to say at this stage when this may be.”
Shuttlers in the singles competition have to be inside top-16 of world rankings to qualify for the Olympics. The cut-off for doubles is also top-16.
The BWF had suspended all tournaments post the All England Championships until April 12 due to the pandemic.
These tournaments include big-ticket events like BWF India Open (Super 500), Malaysia Open (Super 750) and the Singapore Open (Super 500), apart from the three Continental Confederation championships.
BWF said due to the current scenario the next tournaments will also be suspended.
“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the badminton community has experienced an unprecedented suspension to international tournaments from mid-march 2020 to the end of April 2020.
“At present, it is difficult to predict when the next international tournament will take place with further tournaments also expected to be suspended in May and June.”