Indonesia and Vietnam ready to step in as ABC host

PETALING JAYA: The Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) could be held in either the Philippines or Vietnam.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) want the ABC, which is the last Olympic qualifying tournament, scheduled to be held in Wuhan from April 21-26, to be moved out of China - and two countries, Indonesia and Vietnam, are ready to host it.

Wuhan is the centre of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Badminton Asia president Anton Subowo stated in an Indonesian sports portal last Friday that Manila, which will stage the Asian Team Championships from Feb 11-16, could be a ready replacement while Vietnam has also voiced its interest.

Anton said they would decide by end of February and assured that the annual continental meet would go on as planned, even if it has to be moved to an alternative venue.

BAM secretary Kenny Goh said Malaysia would not step in to host as they would rather focus on the Malaysian Open from March 31-April 5.

But Kenny said the BAM would still push for the ABC to be moved away from Wuhan even if the outbreak is contained.

“Our hands are full with the Malaysian Open, ” said Kenny, when asked about the possibility of bringing the ABC back to Malaysia for the first time in 12 years.

“But I’ve been one of those asking the organisers to consider moving the tournament to other venues, preferably outside China.

“Even if the virus outbreak is contained by April, do you think the players and the technical officials are willing to travel there? That’s where the virus originated from.

“Wuhan is undeniably a great host. I was with Badminton Asia previously, so I know the China BA and the organisers have been doing a fantastic job.

“But this time, it’s not their fault and it’s beyond their control.”

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