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Saina Nehwal questions BWF over Thomas and Uber Cup amid coronavirus pandemic after top sides withdraw

Celebrated Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal on Sunday questioned the Badminton World Federation over its decision to go ahead with the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Denmark in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Saina’s comments come after several countries, including powerhouses Thailand and Indonesia, withdrew from the team tournament, citing safety concerns.

The Thomas and Uber Cup, the prestigious team tournament, was postponed twice due to the pandemic but the BWF decided to host the event from October 3 to 11 in Aarhus Denmark.

“7 countries have withdrawn from tournament cause of the pandemic…Is it safe enough to conduct this tournament during this time ??… (Thomas and Uber Cup 2020) #coronavirus,” Saina Nehwal said in a social media post.

With the likes of South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia being among the 6 countries to have pulled out, the BWF is under pressure, once again. The world badminton body, according to The Star, is all set to discuss the fate of Thomas and Uber Cup on Sunday.

It will take a call on whether a fresh draw will be made after the withdrawals or call it off. The report also says top teams China and Japan are also mulling withdrawal.

On the other hand, BWF have invited the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore and European teams, Finland and Sweden to fill in the void. The 2 16-team competitions now have only 12 teams even after the inclusion of Finland Sweden as the 2 Asian countries rejected the invitation.

The Badminton Association of India, meanwhile, named India’s squads for the Thomas and Uber Cup last week. While PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will lead the women’s campaign in the Uber Cup, Kidambi Srikanth will lead the men’s team in the absence of Sai Praneeth in the men’s campaign.

India have been drawn in Group C along with former champions Denmark apart from Germany and Algeria for the Thomas Cup campaign while the women have been grouped alongside China, Germany and France.
Notably, India had canceled their preparatory camp in the lead up to the tournament. The Sports Authority of India had proposed the preparatory camp in Hyderabad which was originally scheduled to start on September 7 and conclude on September 27.

However, the camp was cancelled on Thursday after it became clear that players would not get any relaxation on the seven-day mandatory quarantine period.

This Post first appeared on “India Today”

India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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