The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has indicated that shuttlers participating at the Denmark Open Super750 tournament at Odense next month will be doing so at their own risk.
The players will have to give their written consent to the federation that they will take full responsibility for their travel and participation at the event amid the Covid-19 pandemic, BAI said in an email to those planning to take part in the $750,000 World Tour event.
Asking the players to send the consent by September 17, the BAI email said: “In case no communication is received in the stipulated time, we will understand that you are not willing to participate in the Danisa Denmark Open 2020.”
The Denmark Open was sandwiched between the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals and the Danish Masters in what was Badminton World Federation‘s grand attempt at restarting the circuit.
But the Thomas and Uber Cup was postponed following a spate of withdrawals while the Danish Masters was cancelled, leaving the Denmark Open to announce the sport’s revival on October 13.
Among those taking part from India are PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, K Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy. While they are BAI’s picks as top Olympic probables, there are other private entries as well. All of them, invariably, will have to give in to BAI’s condition if they are keen on travelling to Odense.
“The Danisa Denmark Open 2020 will be going on as per BWF schedule from October 13-18. Since BWF has shown their inability to organise the Thomas & Uber Cup at present due to Covid-19 and the present circumstances in Europe, it is hereby decided that players who have entered in the Danisa Denmark Open 2020 will be travelling / participating at their own responsibility due to the current pandemic,” the email said.
The email shows that BAI only wishes to be a mere forwarding agency and not a sports body backing its players during the sport’s restart. Also, it is a completely different picture of itself that the federation has projected within the country after having stated on Monday that it has always backed BWF in its efforts to restart international badminton.
In a message to BAI secretary Ajay Singhania, BWF secretary Thomas Lund thanked the federation for the support and said: “…The Denmark Open will still go ahead and we ask that if you (have) entered players, continue to support this tournament. It remains a priority to restart international badminton.” Despite repeated attempts, BAI secretary Ajay Singhania couldn’t be reached for comment.