Yonex stops funding, cash crunch hits Indian badminton | Badminton News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) and many state associations are staring at an impending crisis. Citing a steep decline in sales due to the pandemic, main sponsor Yonex has stopped giving funds and material to BAI and over 15 state associations since March.
With the Centre imposing a ban on Chinese imports, Yonex is struggling to even provide shuttles for the national camps as 95% of its production is based in China. Though Yonex is not a Chinese company, its production base is China.
With the China standoff unlikely to ease soon, tougher days are ahead for badminton as it is difficult to find a new sponsor.
Chief coach Pullela Gopichand said that he has shuttles to continue the training camp for another three weeks. Synthetic shuttles can be an answer, according to Gopi.
Yonex gives Rs 5 to 7 lakh to associations and also supplies shuttles, racquets and kits worth lakhs of rupees. It also gives over Rs 22 crore to BAI.
“We actually want to start training. But since March we have not received sponsorship. They even stopped giving shuttles. We are finding it quite difficult,” said the secretary of a state association.
Though BAI has funds for its activities, the state bodies are finding it tough as some of them have resumed training camps.
“Due to the pandemic Yonex stopped sponsorship. As we are resuming our activities now, we request them to provide at least 50% of the sponsorship amount,” P Ankamma Choudhury, secretary Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association (APBA) said.
“It’s high time we should stop depending on them. Badminton has stars like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth. We should look for other sponsors. Yonex used to pay a pittance to Sindhu and Srikanth but when they switched to other sponsors they got 10 times more. BAI should think on those lines,” another official said.
Yonex representatives did not respond despite repeated attempts.

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