Thomas-Uber Cup finals: Countries have right to pull out

KUALA LUMPUR – Badminton Asia (BA) have defended the decision by several Asian teams to pull out from now-postponed 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.

With various foreign media branding the Asian teams’ withdrawals as “selfish”, BA chief operating officer Saw Chit Boon said he believed they made the decision after taking into consideration several factors, including their players and officials’ safety in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Personally, I feel that it is every country’s right and prerogative to decide whether to travel abroad and to play or not.

“The thing is every country has its own (set of) SOP (standard operating procedure) and rules when it comes to fighting the COVID-19 virus,” he told reporters after the partnership signing ceremony between BA and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Sports Innovation & Technology Centre.

The signing will allow developing Asian countries to benefit from an application that aims to improve the performance of athletes who are part of the Asia Olympic Project (AOP).

The AOP is a programme that supports talented athletes from developing countries to improve their performance and qualify for the Olympic Games.

Last week, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced the postponement of the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals after a string of countries withdrew over COVID-19 fears.

Thirteen-time Thomas Cup champions Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Australia decided to skip the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, which were scheduled to take place in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct 3-11.

No new dates have been announced for the three-time postponed Finals, which will now be held next year.

— BERNAMA