The Badminton Association of India has received the go ahead to host the delayed India Open either in December this year or January of 2021, provided the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and subject to government approval. Also Read - All England Badminton Championships to Have a Delayed Start After Inconclusive COVID Test Results
The tournament, which also serves as one of the Olympic qualifiers, was initially supposed to be held in Delhi between March 24 and 29 before the pandemic in India reached an alarming level. Also Read - Kidambi Srikanth Left With Bloodied Nose After Multiple COVID-19 Tests During Thailand Open
Last week, the BWF had written to the BAI, giving them the permission to hold the tournament, after which the window for December-January was decided by the Indian badminton board. Also Read - Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy Withdraw From Thailand Open After Testing Positive For Coronavirus
“We told them we are ready to conduct the India Open in December or January but it all depends on how this global health crisis comes under control and if we get the government approval,” Ajay K Singhania, General Secretary of BAI told PTI.
“We received the mail (from BWF) last week, asking us if we can host the event in September but gauging the uncertainties around, we have given December as first option and January as the second alternate. But it depends on a lot of factors. Right now, international travel is also banned, so let’s see.”
The other suspended tournaments, which fall inside the April 28 Olympic qualification deadline, include Swiss Open Super 300 (March 17-22), Malaysia Open Super 750 (March 31-April 5), and Singapore Open Super 500 (March 7-12) and Badminton Asia Championships (April 21-26).
Other tournaments affected include three BWF World Tour events headlined by the Indonesia Open Super 1000, plus a number of Grade 3, Junior and Para badminton competitions.