Friday, Sep 25, 2020 | Last Update : 03:46 AM IST

185th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra126379995603033015 Andhra Pradesh6543855794745410 Tamil Nadu5636915082108871 Karnataka5485574446588331 Uttar Pradesh3588932895945135 Delhi2492592133045014 West Bengal2283021989834421 Odisha184122149379763 Telangana1792461481391070 Bihar169856155824870 Assam159320129130578 Kerala13863398720554 Gujarat1247671051913337 Rajasthan116881972841352 Haryana113075908841177 Madhya Pradesh108167836182007 Punjab99930754092860 Chhatisgarh8618347653680 Jharkhand7267358543626 Jammu and Kashmir65026421151024 Uttarakhand4177729000501 Goa2875322726360 Puducherry2319118065467 Tripura2227215441245 Himachal Pradesh124387836125 Chandigarh102987411123 Manipur9010683859 Arunachal Pradesh7385540813 Nagaland5544445110 Meghalaya4733252838 Sikkim2447190529 Mizoram158510120
  Sports   In Other sports  15 Sep 2020  Will the Badminton World Federation bow to pressure?

Will the Badminton World Federation bow to pressure?

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published : Sep 15, 2020, 7:42 pm IST
Updated : Sep 15, 2020, 7:42 pm IST

As more countries back out, the fate of the tourney hangs in balance

Saina’s tweet has brought back into focus the safety of sportspersons during the pandemic
 Saina’s tweet has brought back into focus the safety of sportspersons during the pandemic

On Friday, Korea and Indonesia followed the lead of Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong and withdrew from the Thomas and Uber Cup, scheduled to be held from October 3-11 in Denmark.

The seven countries cited COVID-19 as the reason for backing out of the biennial international badminton championship. Japan is expected to take the same decision.

 

The Thomas Uber Cup, if it is held, will mark the resumption of international badminton after it was suspended in March. But the latest developments have forced the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to reconsider holding the event.

Saina’s poser

On Sunday evening, Former World No 1 and Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal questioned the wisdom of the organisers going ahead with the championship in the middle of the pandemic.

She wondered whether it would be safe to hold the event in the present situation.

“Seven countries have withdrawn from tournament cause of the pandemic…Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time ??… (Thomas and Uber Cup 2020) #coronavirus,” Saina asked.

 

Saina’s tweet has brought back into focus the safety of sportspersons during the pandemic.

‘It’s the players who make the federations’

The general opinion is that various boards have to consult players regarding participation, and players have the right to choose whether to play or not.

Sunil Yash Kalra, sports expert, feels that players’ voices are being overlooked, and it’s the players who make the federations and not vice-versa.

“Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu are national treasures and it looks like players are not taken into confidence. Badminton Association of India (BAI) cannot bully players to go out there and perform, especially during a pandemic,” says Sunil.

 

‘Adapting to new normal is key’

With sporting events across the world slowly resuming, there is a growing need to adapt to the new normal at the earliest, say some others.

What if the vaccine does not come till the end of 2021? Or even beyond? Asks sportswriter and commentator Ayaz Memon. Citing the example of IPL 2020 which is being played with all safety precautions, Ayaz feels we cannot wait till a vaccine becomes available. Life must go on, in his opinion.

“Players are free to choose to play or not. Moreover, all the players and countries were willing to play IPL, and hence nobody objected. Last month, when West Indies toured England, three players backed off but the team went ahead and played. So it’s ultimately the players’ choice whether to participate or not ,” Ayaz points out.

 

Liberty of choice

It is imperative that players are given the liberty of choice, stress yet others.
BAI Secretary Ajay Kumar says if sportspersons are not confident of playing in the COVID-19 scenario, they should be free to say so.

“Players’ safety comes first, before anything else. We cannot compromise on players’ safety. If a sportsperson isn’t comfortable playing, then why should we put pressure on him or her to go out and play?” he asks.

He reveals that only after all the Indian players had expressed their willingness to play in writing (to the Chief National Coach, Pullela Gopichand) were plans taken forward.

BWF’s call

 

Meanwhile, according to sources, the BWF is considering postponing the Thomas and Uber Cup and is likely to make an official announcement soon. Looks like the BWF has buckled under the pressure of players!

(The decision was pending
by the time the article went for press)

Tags: badminton world federation