Despite the growing concern of the fatal Coronavirus, the Badminton World Federation will not be barring Chines players from participating in international tournaments, the body said in a statement. The deadly flu-like virus has resulted in over 550 deaths in the country of China, with many cities shut and thousands forced into quarantine.
On top of it, airlines around the world have either suspended or restricted flights to China with some nations even disallowing people who’ve been to the country recently. In such adversity, the BWF however, has said that it will not stop Chinese players from entering competitions and that the badminton body has instructed member associations to get in touch with national authorities regarding the same.
“The BWF is looking into the implications of these travel restrictions, which may mean players and officials from China will not be able to participate in some BWF-sanctioned tournaments easily,” the statement read.
“The BWF would like to make it clear, however, that it will not be restricting participation of Chinese players and officials, or any other players or officials, at international badminton and Para badminton tournaments. Chinese athletes are free to enter events and we trust tournament hosts will provide full assistance and treat all athletes from all Member Associations (MAs) equally.”
BWF also recognises that each Member Association’s national health authority will have its own rules and procedures which differ region to region.
The BWF also intends on working closely with key stakeholders such as the Chinese Badminton Association (CBA), all Member Associations and tournaments hosts, as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to align on global and regional measures being put in place.
This includes communicating a number of common-sense measures endorsed by the IOC that all tournament hosts can implement to help participants at their events feel safe. In the meantime, all normal tournament conventions and etiquette will still apply at badminton events such as the coin toss, shaking of hands and medal ceremonies.
The BWF is considering all relevant health, safety and logistical risks and will continue to update the entire badminton community on any further developments related to the coronavirus.