Uproar in their Den

KUALA LUMPUR: While the postponement of the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals has brought relief to many concerned shuttlers and officials, some are clearly upset with the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) decision.

Among them are Denmark’s world No. 3 Anders Antonsen and his retired compatriot Mathias Boe as both took to social media to vent their frustrations.

Antonsen, last year’s World Championships’ runner-up was looking forward to competing in three back-to-back events including the Denmark Open and Denmark Masters.

However, the Denmark Masters, scheduled for Oct 20-25 was cancelled as a result of the Finals being postponed due to the massive withdrawals.

A gutted Antonsen wrote on his Instagram: “So Thomas-Uber Cup has been postponed once again and Denmark Open 2 (Denmark Masters) cancelled... So what is the plan here?

“Are we sitting around waiting for a vaccine to come before badminton can start up again?

“I see tennis (US Open) is playing in New York these days. @bwf.official (BWF) it’s time to step up!

“Make the best and safest setup you possibly can and run the tournaments. Whoever attends, attends. Otherwise the sport will wither away and die.”

Boe echoed Antonsen’s sentiment and has called for the BWF’s top leadership to resign.

“Gutted. Feel so sorry for the players and @BadDK (Badminton Denmark),” said Boe, who helped Denmark clinch their historic Thomas Cup title in Kunshan, China, in 2016.

“BWF are the only major sports association that can’t get the tournaments started. Other sports started months back.

“Maybe it’s time that some of the “important BWF guys” step down and leave the show to someone who can actually run it.”

However, it’s not only the Europeans who are disappointed.

Former India chief coach Vimal Kumar described the postponement as a “big setback” for the sport and claimed that the top Asian nations should be blamed for the “mess” they have caused.

A spate of withdrawals – Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia – had left the BWF with no option but to push the Finals back for a third time after initially calling it off in May and August due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Vimal told the Press Trust of India: “What Asian nations have done, it is really disappointing. There are no major issues in these countries. They are having local events, so to pull out in this way is a big setback.

“The Finals and two World Tour legs in Denmark were ideal to revive the circuit. The platform was there. We are not as big as China but India stood positive, we wanted to participate but if big countries don’t play, what can BWF do? How will they conduct events? I’ll blame the Asian nations for this mess.”

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