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Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in action during his semi final match against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen at the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, Britain on March 14. - REUTERS pic
Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in action during his semi final match against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen at the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, Britain on March 14. - REUTERS pic

BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh has called for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark on May 16-24 to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

Denmark has already registered more than 1,000 cases with six deaths and the pandemic is expected to get worse.

Kenny feels that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) need to act fast in making a decision on the prestigious men’s and women’s team competitions.

The world body have suspended all international tournaments until April 12 but have yet to make a decision on the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, where Malaysia have qualified for both the events.

To add to the uncertainty, BWF have postponed the draws for both events, which were supposed to have taken place in Aarhus on Wednesday.

The BWF office in Kuala Lumpur is not open till March 31 due to the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO).

“BWF may take a wait and see approach as the event is in May but they need to make a fast decision on this,” said Kenny.

“Looking at the seriousness of the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, BWF must act fast.

“But due to commercial implications, they may not want to take the drastic decision of postponement.

“But sport events are being postponed or cancelled around the world.

“Staging the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in May should be reviewed.”

The government has added Denmark to its travel restriction list, and this means Malaysia’s players may not get to compete in the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.

Meanwhile, Kenny said the players who returned from last week’s All England championships, are allowed to go home and continue with the individual physical programmes provided by National Sports Institute.

A total of 21 players and seven coaches tested negative for Covid-19.

“There will be no group activities or court training sessions for them until March 31.”

Kenny added that the 120 junior players at the BAM Academy had returned home last weekend after schools were closed during the MCO.

Covid-19

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