Badminton’s smash hit the Thomas and Uber Cups, which were scheduled to commence from October 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark has been thrown off balance, with prominent countries slowly pulling out of the tournament due to the ongoing pandemic. The pandemic has managed to instil a sense of fear and panic in the minds of the players as well as the concerned authorities who are quite reluctant to send their teams as the rapid virus transmission has gripped nearly millions in its clutches.
Countries such as Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong have opted to skip the event altogether.
As potential Asian countries have been checked off of the list, doubts regarding China and Japan willing to participate slowly turn to reality, with a slim chance that both the countries will mark their presence during the tournament.
“If the trend of the withdrawals continue, I think (The Badminton World Federation) has two options: one, is to cancel, the second option is to postpone the finals to a later date.” Kenny Goh, General Secretary of Badminton Association of Malaysia told Agence France – Presse.
Meanwhile Saina Nehwal, former World No.1 and Olympic medalist, who is a contender in the championships as well, wrote a tweet that said “7 countries have withdrawn from the tournament because of the pandemic … Is it safe to conduct this tournament during this time?… (Thomas and Uber Cup 2020) #coronavirus.”
Rashid Sidek, a former Malaysian badminton player and 1992 Thomas Cup Champion commented on the present situation saying” If four teams have withdrawn, it’s better to just postpone it.”
The current scenario creates a major setback for the badminton federation as people were looking forward to this event after news of the Tokyo Olympics being postponed washed over media channels across the globe.
Similarly, two tournaments have been scheduled to be held in Denmark after the Thomas and Uber Cups, while three events have been marked to be held in the month of November in Asia.