JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Concern over the coronavirus has resulted in Indonesia becoming the fifth team to withdraw from the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup badminton competition that is scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct. 3 -11.
Indonesian badminton officials said Saturday they were concerned that players could contract COVID-19 during the tournament.
“Everyone was excited because they saw such a big opportunity, but in the course of time and looking at the development of COVID-19 that had not been resolved, both in Indonesia and in other countries, it raised doubts among athletes,” a statement said.
Indonesia also confirmed that none of their players will participate in the Denmark Open and Denmark Masters that are scheduled to be held in October.
Other countries that have withdrawn are Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.
The Thai badminton federation said last week that it had withdrawn after high-profile players pulled out because of concerns regarding COVID-19.
The federation says the absences of former world champion Ratchanok Intanon, No. 3-ranked mixed doubles pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai and others meant the country couldn’t field a team for Denmark.
Thailand badminton federation president Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul says “player safety and health has always been our priority concern. We respect the players’ decision.”
The Badminton World Federation said last month the Thomas and Uber Cup would go ahead in Aarhus despite an overhaul of the tournament calendar following the lack of international competition during the coronavirus pandemic.
The BWF said international participants would not be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival in Denmark provided they had a negative COVID-19 test and appropriate travel documents.