PUTRAJAYA, 12 Sept 2020:
Malaysia is adopting a wait and see approach over the national badminton squad’s participation in the Thomas and Uber Cup meet in Denmark next month – due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said although the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) was ready for the prestigious meet, the ministry preferred to wait for confirmation from the other competing nations as well.
“We will wait for another two or three days.. there are no problems so far, we just have to follow the standard operating procedures,” he told reporters yesterday when asked on Malaysia’s participation following the decision by several nations to withdraw from the meet due to Covid-19 concerns.
Following the footsteps of Taiwan and Australia, Thailand recently became the latest country to withdraw from the tournament.
This year’s Thomas/Uber Cup has already been postponed twice, and if goes on as scheduled, it will be the first major badminton tournament to be held since Covid-19 went on to become a global pandemic in March.
Reezal Merican said he was made to understand that if one or two more ‘top 4 or top 5’ badminton nations were to withdraw, the tournament might be shelved.
He said BAM had also met with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to propose SOPs that can be enforced by the host nation.
“Although Denmark is currently a green status nation (Covid-19), questions remain on matters concerning logistics and airport transfer to the hotel. The hotel must also be certified with green status and if the hotel is occupied by red-status nations, that’s not considered green.”