BWF in a dilemma


  • Badminton
  • Thursday, 02 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) are having too much on their plate at the moment, no thanks to the large-scale disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to July 23-Aug 8 has left the governing body with a big headache as they now need to also reschedule the World Championships, which traditionally takes place in August.

The host city for the 26th edition next year is Huelva, Spain.

BWF confirmed last Monday that they are currently in discussions with the organisers to seek alternative dates.

However, the big question is: will the Olympics and World Championships be held in the same year for the first time ever?

The two biggest individual events have never clashed since badminton first made it into the Olympic Games programme in Barcelona 1992.

Considering the current circumstances, the next world meet might be scrapped altogether.

The BWF are already finding it tough to finalise their revision on the currently stalled Olympic qualification system, which they said might take up to “several weeks” to complete.

After that, BWF have a nightmarish challenge over the world meet.

It isn’t just about finding suitable replacement dates. BWF also need to come up with a viable qualification mechanism for the World Championships, which are normally being contested over a one-year period.

Had the Covid-19 not wreaked havoc on the calendar, the 52-week qualifying cycle for the Huelva meet could have commenced in early May and concluded at the end of April 2021.

But it remains unknown when the BWF international circuit can be resumed.

While it is highly unlikely that BWF will be able to complete a one-year qualification process, they could settle for a shorter span.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Datuk Kenny Goh reckons that it is not ideal to hold the World Championships in the same year as the Olympics.

“I’m not sure what’s BWF’s plan, but I don’t foresee having so many major events in one year, ” said Kenny.

“If BWF still want to have the World Championships, that will mean three major events next year – the Olympics, world meet and Sudirman Cup.

“Let’s not forget that the World Tour Finals is also considered as a major event by BWF, so that would make four. That’s just too many.”

Kenny also believes the world meet should be scrapped as it will become less significant if it clashes with the Olympics.

“I think we should just scrap the World Championships as it is held annually.

“I’m sure Japan will want to make the Olympics a very memorable one given what happened this year.

“At the end of the day, it’s entirely BWF’s call.”

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