Dubai: India’s participation in the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup has been thrown into doubt after the warm-up camp was cancelled even after the Badminton Association of India (BAI) had announced national squads for both competitions.
The 2020 BWF Thomas and Uber Cup finals is scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark, from October 3-11. The Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) was the fourth nation to withdraw its participation from the Thomas and Uber Cup, late on Friday.
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Thailand, Australia and Chinese Taipei had already announced they would not be sending their teams for the biennial competition.
Indonesia cited “lack of guarantees from the Badminton World Federation (BWF)” for pulling out of the competition as the world governing body “would not take responsibility for the team members, if one of them catches the disease”.
The PBSI further claimed that travel “might expose athletes and team officials to infection while travelling or even at the venue”.
The BAI recently announced Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Lakshya Sen, Subhankar Dey, Siril Verma, Manu Attri, Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun, Dhruv Kapila and Krishna Prasad Garaga as the 10 players chosen for the Thomas Cup.
The Uber Cup squad also has 10 players including PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy, Pooja Dandu, Sanjana Santosh, Poorvisha Ram and Jakkampudi Meghana.
However, the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals warm-up camp for the Indian badminton teams has now been cancelled following coronavirus-related complications.
The BAI announced that the camp that was due to start on September 7, has since delayed, but would not go ahead because following of Sports Authority of India-imposed standard operating procedures (SOPs) and quarantine periods meant there would not be enough time to conduct it.
Ironically, several players have so far stayed away, with reasons for doing so ranging from contracting COVID-19 to following SOPs laid down and being unhappy with their spouse not being included on a list of potential players for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania was quoted that the preparatory camp had been called off “after a lot of deliberations and multi-level meetings with all stakeholders, including the Sports Authority of India”.
“With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp and hence it was a decision taken in consultation with the five selectors and the national coach,” the general secretary added.
The BWF has all along insisted that the event in Aarhus will go ahead as currently planned, having twice been postponed already.