Indonesia pull out from Thomas, Uber Cup finals

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia are the latest country to withdraw from the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct 3-11.

Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) secretary-general Achmad Budiharto cited three reasons why the team came to the decision including players’ concern about the risk of Covid-19 infection when travelling, in transit or at the venue of the tournament.

He said the players and officials were also worried because the Badminton World Federation (BWF) could not guarantee that they would not be affected by the virus.

“We have submitted a letter to the Youth and Sports Minister and will be writing to the BWF soon to notify them about the matter. The decision was made after discussing with the players and team officials,” he said in a statement released on PBSI website.

Achmad also confirmed that Indonesian players would not take part in the Denmark Open I and Denmark Open II tournaments from Oct 13-18 and Oct 20-25, respectively.

Besides Indonesia, four other teams – Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea – have announced withdrawal from the prestigious men and women’s team competitions due to Covid-19 concerns.

Malaysia were drawn in Group A with traditional rivals and 13-time champions Indonesia, the Netherlands and England in the Thomas Cup tournament.

The national women’s squad will face a far more daunting task as they were drawn in Group B, alongside South Korea, Indonesia and Australia.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican yesterday said although the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) was ready for the meet, the ministry preferred to wait for confirmation from the other competing nations as well.