Badminton Asia chief operating officer Saw Chit Boon has defended the decision of several Asian nations to withdraw from the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals prior the event being postponed for a third time.
Multiple teams pulled out of the tournaments, which were scheduled to take place in Aarhus in Denmark from October 3 to 11.
The competitions had originally been scheduled for May 16 to 24, before being moved to August 15 to 23.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Denmark then announced October 3 to 11 as the dates for the event, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact badminton’s calendar.
Indonesia – the most successful team in Thomas Cup history – and 2010 Uber Cup winners South Korea withdrew in what proved to be the final nails in the coffin of the October window.
Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Australia had previously withdrawn from the 16-team competitions.
The Thomas Cup is regarded as the World Men’s Team Championships, with the Uber Cup the women’s equivalent.
A Danish editorial by commentator Dennis Bostrup labelled the postponements as a “disaster for badminton” and an expression of the “strange and selfish way of thinking in the Asian countries”.
Chit Boon has defended Asian nations from criticism, however, asserting that each country could make its own decision amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think it is the right and prerogative of every participating country to decide if they want to travel to play or not,” Chit Boon said, according to Malaysian newspaper The Star.
“There are lots of things to be taken into consideration because each country imposes different standard operating procedures, rules and conditions for their citizens travelling abroad.
“The most important thing here is how we as humans from around the world, play our part to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So I do not think this is about the Asian countries pulling out just to make life difficult for everybody.
“These claims emerged because Denmark happened to be the hosts.
“Will the same be said if an Asian country hosted the event?”
Odense is still expected to host the Danisa Denmark Open 2020 – a BWF World Tour event – as initially planned from October 13 to 18.
A second tournament scheduled in Odense, the Victor Denmark Masters 2020, has been cancelled, with organisers unable to justify hosting an additional event in the city with all the withdrawals.
This event was scheduled to run from October 20 to 25.
The BWF is also looking into the feasibility of the planned Asian leg of the World Tour, which could see three sanctioned events held.