COVID-19: BWF, BAI agree to cancel Hyderabad Open

The Badminton World Federation has called off the Hyderabad Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic threat. The cancellation would mean that the resumption of the BWF’s international calendar will be slightly delayed.

Slated from August 11-16, the Hyderabad Open was the first event on the BWF calendar to restart international action after the novel coronavirus spread had led to the cancellation of 10 international tournaments. Now the Hyderabad Open becomes the 11 event on the list.

The decision to call off the Hyderabad Open is taken jointly by the BWF and the Badminton Association of India. “BWF and Badminton Association of India have agreed to cancel the Hyderabad Open 2020 (11-16 August) – a Super 100 on the BWF Tour,” the BWF said in a statement.

The BWF on May 22 had announced the revised calendar to restart international competitions.

Also read: BWF announces revamped calendar; India Open in December

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said circumstances have and will continue to change in certain countries and therefore further updates on the status of tournaments will be given as and when necessary. “These changes announced today are necessary but do not directly impact the new BWF Tournament Calendar 2020, which was created to allow for changes as part of our framework for badminton’s potential return,” he said.

“Health, safety and movement restrictions are now quite varied across the globe as certain countries and territories slowly return to a new normal.

Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand admitted that it would have been too difficult to commit to a tournament in August as Hyderabad is still under lockdown.

“At the moment the lockdown is still on in Hyderabad and the Telangana government has still not decided when the sports infrastructure will open even though the central government has cleared it. We are just waiting for the information,” Gopichand told PTI. “…it will be too difficult for us to commit for a tournament in August.”

The BWF also cancelled two other tournaments —Australia Open and Korea Masters —in view of the global health crisis.

“It (Australian Open) carried ‘suspended’ status until BWF and Badminton Australia could find suitable replacement dates. Both parties have since agreed it is not feasible to hold the tournament at a later date in 2020. The tournament was due to take place 2-7 June.

“The Korea Masters 2020 (HSBC BWF World Tour – Super 300) scheduled for 24-29 November is also cancelled. Badminton Korea will host the Korea Open 2020 (8-13 September) in Week 37,” the BWF said.

Three more tournaments  – YONEX German Open 2020 (3-8 March), YONEX Swiss Open 2020 (17-22 March) and 2020 European Championships (21-26 April) – still remain suspended and an announcement on these will be made in due course.

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