BIRMINGHAM: World badminton chief Poul-Erik Hoyer has warned that European players need to find urgent solutions after their disastrous performance at the All-England Open if they want to avoid a permanent power shift to Asia.
Hoyer won two All-England men’s singles titles and an Olympic gold medal for Denmark during the 1990s, but last week’s tournament saw Europe fail to produce a single semi-finalist in any of the five events for the first time in the tournament’s 115-year history.
With vast sums invested by some Asian countries, a fear that the sport could become further dominated by one region, a potential threat to its Olympic standing, has been increasing.
And Hoyer, the president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), hinted at possible European solutions needed whilst celebrating the phenomenal Asian success.
“Setting up combined facilities so European players can share and create higher quality – that could be something which countries should think about,” said Hoyer, who also became an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member last month.
“Maybe there is a possibility of delivering at a higher level if they (countries) co-operate more.
“I do believe European players can benefit from transnational co-operation.”
Hoyer is mindful that the BWF’s ability to influence this process is limited by the relative autonomy allowed to continental federations within the governing body. – AFP