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Coronavirus: India Open 2020 to go as per schedule, likely to be held behind closed doors, claims BWF-BAI statement

New Delhi, March 11: Allaying concerns over the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus, the BWF and BAI on Wednesday (March 11) stated that the India Open 2020 will go ahead as planned.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the BWF and BAI claimed the enhanced precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the welfare and safety of players, their entourage, and officials.

The statement also claimed that the tournament, in all likelihood, will be staged behind closed doors without spectators.

"The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed the decision after BAI consulted experts over the past few days regarding advisories issued by the health authorities in India," said the statement.

"BWF accepts that all relevant health, safety and logistical risks have been considered in this process. BWF is continuing to monitor all official updates of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) with no change to the intention to stage other HSBC BWF World Tour or BWF-sanctioned tournaments at this stage," the statement added further.

The India Open tournament is a Super 500 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour and falls within the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying period.

The tournament will be held in New Delhi from March 24-29 at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.

Coronavirus threat has already forced the postponement of the four Olympic qualifying events so far -- Lingshui China Masters (February 25 to March 1), Vietnam International Challenge (24-29 March 24-29) and German Open (March 3 to 8) and Polish Open (March 26-29).

The All England Open Championships (March 11-15), the season's first World Tour Super 1000 tournament and which counts towards qualification for Tokyo 2020, is, however, going as per the schedule.

However, Next month's Badminton Asia Championships have been moved out of Wuhan, which is the epicentre of Covid-19, to the Philippines capital Manila, which also hosted the mixed team event. It will now be held from April 21-26.

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Read more about: health badminton bai bwf
Story first published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 14:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 11, 2020
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