The government will give approval to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to host the $400,000 India Open, an Olympic qualifier in December this year or January, only if the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
The Badminton World Federation (BWI) had sent a letter to BAI last week, querying for a slot to accomplish the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament which was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak along with the other Tokyo Games qualifiers.
In answer to BWF, BAI has lent BWF two slots, saying it is ready to host the event either in December or January, pending government approval, said Ajay K Singhania, General Secretary, BAI.
“We told them that we are ready to conduct the India Open in December or January but it all depends on how this global health crisis comes under control and if we get the government approval,” Singhania told PTI.
“We received the mail (from BWF) last week, asking us if we can host the event in September but gauging the uncertainties around, we have given December as first option and January as the second alternate.” He said.
“But it depends on a lot of factors. Right now, international travel is also banned, so let’s see,” he added.
The India Open Super 500 tournament was planned to be held from 24 to 29 March in New Delhi while other postponed events which recede inside the 28 April Olympic qualification deadline include Swiss Open Super 300 (17-22 March), Malaysia Open Super 750 (31 March-5 April), and Singapore Open Super 500 (7-12 March) and Badminton Asia Championships (21-26 April).
Due to the dreaded disease, Tokyo Olympic was also suspended and BWF enacted to stiffen the world rankings, making the standing on 17 March on the basis for the entry and seedings when it restarts the worldwide calendar.