Fresh concerns over India Open badminton

Amid coronavirus outbreak, fresh concerns over India Open badminton

The USD 400,000 Super 500 event was supposed to be held without any spectators to avoid spreading the deadly disease

File Photo of P.V. Sindhu (IND), during her 2016 Rio Olympics Badminton Women's Singles Gold Medal Match, Rio de Janeiro. (Reuters Photo)

Delhi government’s decision to ban all sports activities due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has raised fresh doubts over the fate of India Open badminton, a crucial event in the Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle.

The USD 400,000 Super 500 event was supposed to be held without any spectators to avoid spreading the deadly disease.

“We will go by what the government decides. It is not in our hand. We have to follow the government’s decisions. Currently there is no clarity on the visa process of the foreign players and on top of it now the Delhi govt has come up with this directive,” a Badminton Association of India (BAI) official told PTI.

The BAI and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had issued a joint statement on Wednesday, informing that the event will be held inside closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the government on Wednesday night issued a revised travel advisory, suspending all existing visas, except diplomatic and employment, till April 15.

South India Rally on 

The upcoming South India Rally, which doubles up as the opening round of FIA Asia-Pacific Championship, will be held here as per schedule but without spectators.

The event will be held from March 20 to 22, the organisers said on Friday.

The chairman of the event Vicky Chandhok said they would strictly comply with medical and travel advisories issued by the central government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “To reiterate, next week’s South India Rally is very much on as per schedule. We are closely monitoring the situation arising out of the COVID-19 spread globally, and taking due precautions as per the directives of Union Health ministry,” Chandhok said.

AICF postpones all events

The All India Chess Federation on Friday postponed all national championships till May 31. The AICF also asked the state associations to avoid any state-level events till April 15. “All the national championships to be held till May 31 stay as postponed and new dates will be notified soon,” AICF honorary secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said in a release. “As you are well aware the coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It is likely to have widespread implications in the times to come but instead of panic we need to take adequate precautions.”

“The government of India has advised to avoid any huge gatherings which means we have to cancel chess tournaments where there is participation of lots of parents, children, other players from various parts and also arbiters and volunteers etc,” the release said.

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