Saina Nehwal who won the Bronze Medal at the London Olympics said that the organisers of All England Open did not care about the players’ welfare and feelings and went ahead with the premier badminton tournament.
While some of the biggest sporting tournament like UEFA EURO 2020, UEFA Champions League, Gallagher Premiership, Guinness PRO14, IPL 2020, and the Australian Grand Prix were all either called off or postponed due to the novel Coronavirus. However, the All England Open was held under “normal circumstances” in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The Badminton World Federation announced during the high profile tournament that it has suspended the upcoming tournaments on the tour.
Saina Nehwal tweeted saying, “Only thing I can think of is that rather than the players welfare n feelings, financial reasons were given more importance. Otherwise there was no other reason for the #AllEnglandOpen2020 to go on last week”.
Only thing I can think of is that rather than the players welfare n feelings , financial reasons were given more importance. Otherwise there was no other reason for the #AllEnglandOpen2020 to go on last week .. #QuarantineLife https://t.co/yajkj7M7VX— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) March 18, 2020
Parupalli Kashyap, who is a Commonwealth Games GoldMeadllist and Saina Nehwal’s husband said that the players who participated in the tournament were under pressure.
Kashyap raised the issue of Indian players’ return to the nation amidst the new travel restrictions which were imposed by the Government of India last week.
As the All England Open 2020 came at a crucial time in the Olympic qualification period hence several players, including the Indian star players took part in the tournament.
Replying to the Danish Badminton player Mads Conrad-Petersen’s tweet, Kashyap wrote, “Exactly .. just can’t understand how it took place and how we all were under pressure to play the event”. Mads Conrad-Petersen had expressed his disappointment on holding the tournament and wrote “With the world closing down due to the corona virus I get worried and ashamed that All England was played under completely normal standards. It can take up to 14 days before you feel that you are sick. Can’t help to be a little nervous 🙁 Terrible decision”.
Exactly .. just can’t understand how it took place and how we all were under pressure to play the event .— Parupalli Kashyap (@parupallik) March 17, 2020
The Indian Badminton players were in a state of confusion in the lead up to their return to India from Birmingham due to the new restrictions put up by the Government of India last week.
Last week, the Health Ministry issued an advisory related to the Coronavirus which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The advisory said, “All incoming travelers, including Indians, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain & Germany after 15th February 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days”.