India Open & All Badminton Meets Suspended Until 12 April
The India Open badminton tournament was on Friday suspended at least till 12 April after the sport's world governing body decided to halt all events from 16 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement that the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has forced it to cancel or postpone all tournaments from 16 March to 12 April.
The situation, it said, has been aggravated by heightened travel and quarantine restrictions in place and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this causes to the movement of badminton athletes.
"The suspension of the circuit will come into effect following the completion of the YONEX All England Open 2020 in Birmingham, England, on Sunday 15 March," it added.
It said the decision was taken after consultation and consensus with its Host Member Associations and Continental Confederations.
"BWF equally has strong considerations for the health, safety and well being of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community in general," it said.
The BWF World Tour Super 100 India Open was to be held in New Delhi from 24 to 29 March. It was to be held without spectators after the government advisory to stop sports events of large gatherings.
"Unless government advice changes, Badminton England remains confident that the robust and comprehensive measures in place before and during the event will minimise the potential risk of the virus,” the statement said.
"BWF duly accepts this position and that all relevant health, safety and logistical risks have been considered by BWF, Badminton England, tournament organisers, and the local government in reaching this decision," the statement added.
The BWF said it will take a call on Olympic qualification process later.