BAM to decide fate of home tournament


KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will make a decision soon whether to host the Malaysian Open this month following the Health Ministry’s advisory to postpone all local and international tournaments.

The Malaysian Open from March 31-April 5 is one of the last few tournaments that offer qualifying points for the Tokyo Olympic Games which starts from July 25-Aug 9.

“We’ve received the advisory from the Health Ministry and we will make a decision soon,” said BAM secretary Kenny Goh (pic).

Prior to the advisory yesterday, the BAM had decided to keep the event open to spectators.

However, the organisers for next week’s Swiss Open in Basel have limited the number of spectators to 200 according to www.badzine.net while the Times of India reported that the hosts of the Indian Open from March 24-29 have said no to fans by restricting their tournament to only players and officials.

Kenny Goh said they were monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia ahead of the tournament in Bukit Jalil and in fact had met up with the Health Ministry, Immigration Department, Stadium Board and other stakeholders on Tuesday.

“We were assured that the situation here is under control but we’ve been told to monitor the situation daily,” said Kenny.

“That’s when we decided that the Open will be open to spectators.

“The situation however is changing rapidly and we may have to revisit our decision if there is a need to.”

Kenny however, said they would take all precautionary measures if they were given the green light to host the event, which is three weeks away.

“As advised, there will be only one access into the stadium via a marquee tent at the entrance to control the crowd. The stadium will also be disinfected twice daily,” said Kenny.

“We’re also learning from the other hosts.

“At the ongoing All-England, they have placed medical staff at the players’ hotel, so we plan to do the same.”

BAM however, would refund the ticket money to fans if they decide to limit the crowd.

“We are already refunding money to some fans, who had purchased it early but decided not to attend,” added Kenny.
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