Badminton governing body BWF have announced that they are cancelling the Swiss Open and European Championships due to the Covid-19 pandemic striking the world. BWF said they were unable to find suitable slots for the two championships to take place this year. It is yet another shot in the arm for the badminton schedule who have been struck hard by the lockdowns and impositions imposed in and around the world.
The BWF had unveiled last month a revised international calendar as they looked to restore the remainder of the season which was ruined by the health crisis.
The apex body had also announced that ranking points earned at tournaments during the original qualification phase will be maintained.
“There are further changes to the status of badminton tournaments this year with the YONEX Swiss Open 2020 and 2020 European Championships now cancelled,” the Badminton World Federation said in a release.
“Both previously carried ‘suspended’ status until suitable replacement dates could be found.”The Swiss Open, a Super 300 event on the HSBC BWF World Tour, was scheduled to take place from March 17 to 22 and was earlier suspended due to the spread of the contagious disease.
“BWF, in close consultation and consensus with Swiss Badminton and tournament organisers, concluded that it was no longer feasible to hold the tournament at a later date in 2020,” the BWF said.
India’s B Sai Praneeth finished runner-up at the 2019 Swiss Open after losing the men’s singles final to China’s Shi Yuqi.
The European Championships, scheduled for April 21-26, was also suspended earlier but now stands cancelled.
“Badminton Europe and the Ukrainian Badminton Federation also agreed that it was best to cancel the 2020 European Championships in Kyiv, originally scheduled for 21-26 April 2020,” the world body said.
“Ukrainian Badminton Federation has agreed to host the 2021 version and it will be staged in the same Ukrainian city from 27 April to 2 May 2021.”With the BWF announcing week 1 to 17 next year as extended Olympic qualification period, the event is likely to count towards qualification for Tokyo Games.
The BWF had earlier frozen the world rankings and made the standings on March 17 as the basis for entry and seedings, when it resumes the international calendar.
(with PTI inputs)