BWF Addresses Challenges Facing the Sport & Explains Pushback of Asian Events into 2021

By: Editor
Date: 29 Sep, 2020
Image Courtesy: BWF
The Badminton World Federation embarked on a major drive to dispel some of the notions regarding the efforts to resume topflight badminton action, and address some of the criticism that has been directed in the direction of the world body ever since the Corona Virus pandemic has wreaked havoc with general life worldwide and specifically with the sport of badminton.

Addressing a virtual press conference were regarding the upcoming Asian leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour 2020 conclusion in Bangkok, Thailand were three of the heavyweights for BWF and Badminton Thailand – BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer, BWF President BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund, Badminton Association of Thailand President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul – putting forth their views on the resumption of topflight badminton and offering insights into the governing body’s plans to take on the multiple challenges facing the sport.

At the very outset BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer explained that the decision to postpone the events into 2021 was the best possible option available in one of the most challenging year’s the sport has ever faced.

"Given the challenges we faced, this was the best possible solution under the circumstances,” President Høyer said.

He also expressed confidence that BWF in association with the local organizers will be able to put together the safety protocols and logistical measures to ensure a safe return of the badminton and usher in a safer paradigm for the rest of the tournaments in 2021.

Acknowledging the fact that there is bound to be some effect on the rankings and qualifications systems, BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund explained that the world governing body is working on all the technical rules that need to be planned, consistent with the calendar for 2021.

“Following that then we can finally decide how it will affect the Top Committed Players. Of course, we have suspended the rule for 2020

“Changes to the 2021 tournament schedule may have an impact on the Olympic qualification system as COVID-19 will still be a major problem next year," explained the Secretary General Lund.

Terming the exercise to conduct three back to back tournaments in a month a complex exercise, Thomas Lung, explained that the month of January provided the best possible window to bring it all together. 

However, the decision to allow audience into the arenas is yet undecided, added Badminton Association of Thailand President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul

Talking about the cancellations of the two European leg events, originally slated to be played in October 2020, the Secretary General made it categorically clear that it wasn’t because of the sponsors, and that the inability to bring in the top players in played it part.

"We are looking at the players that were going to participate. Of course, when the best players are not there, it may affect the quality of the tournament," alluded the Secretary General.

While the BWF has copped some serious criticism – starting from delayed announcement of the lockdown, to now the protracted break for the sport – it looks like there is now a concerted push from the very top of the BWF to set the record straight and take control of the narrative that will dictate the resumption of the sport. The president himself addressed an open letter to the larger badminton community last week, and now the top names themselves came out in the open to take and answer questions. 

Definitely, this can only mean good things and better outcomes for the entire spectrum of the badminton ecosystem!

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