Malaysian Open is on as planned, says badminton body

  • Badminton
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open badminton championships, slated for March 31-April 5 will proceed as scheduled despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have no plans to call off or even postpone the US$750,000 (RM3.1mil) premier tournament, said secretary Datuk Kenny Goh.

The outbreak, which has claimed 1,770 lives and infected more than 70,000 people globally, has forced some major sporting events in the South-East Asia region to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Among them are the LPGA Thailand (Feb 20-23) and the Women’s Champions Tournament (Feb 27-March 1), which make up the Asian swing of the US LPGA Tour.

In Malaysia, the organisers of three events have postponed their events – the Maybank Championship April 16-19), a golf tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours, the Malaysian Open bowling championships (March 26-April 4) and Asian Road Cycling Championships (March 17-22).

But BAM will not follow suit. “We will proceed with the staging of Malaysian Open for now,” said Kenny.

“We are constantly consulting the relevant government authorities as well as the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Unless we receive a directive from either of these two parties to postpone it, the tournament will be held as planned.”

Kenny said the government has given an assurance that Malaysia is safe to visit.

“The Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail), who is also our patron, has declared that Malaysia is safe to visit. I think that’s a positive and reassuring message from the Government,” said Kenny.

The Malaysian Open, which belongs to the highest-tier World Tour tournament, is one of the last few tournaments offering ranking points before the Tokyo Olympics.

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