BWF to decide fate of Thomas-Uber Cup Finals today, calls for emergency meeting


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 world-wide.

Under pressure from every quarter, the Badminton World Federation will take call on the fate of Thomas-Uber Cup Finals today. 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.

According to BAM official, BWF will either cancel the tournament or will have to conduct a re-draw. In an interview to The Star, BAM Sec Kenny Goh declared Malaysia will participate if BWF decides to go ahead with the event.

“BWF will decide today. If BWF are going ahead with the Finals, they will have to make a complete change which includes a fresh draw,” said Kenny.

“We are still sticking to our stand. We’ll participate unless BWF calls it off or if there’s a surge in Covid-19 cases.

“I don’t think there’s a need to make a hasty decision despite the decision by several countries to pull out,” said Kenny.

“Some of them were left with no options because of travelling restrictions imposed by their government or players refusing to play”. 

Thomas & Uber Cup : 6 Countries including Indonesia, Korea have withdrawn already

A total of six 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 rumored 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“7 countries have withdrawn from tournament cause of the pandemic…Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time ??… (Thomas and Uber Cup 2020) #coronavirus,” she tweeted.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.

The Thomas & Uber Cup is scheduled to be held in Denmark from October 3 to 11. The tournament if it goes ahead will mark the resumption of international badminton after it came to a halt in March because of the dreaded virus.