Malaysian Open could be canceled, BAM wants players to focus on the Olympic qualifications

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Norza Zakaria indicates that there could be no Malaysian Open in 2020. (photo: Bernama)
Norza Zakaria indicates that there could be no Malaysian Open in 2020. (photo: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur: President of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said the US$750,000 Malaysian Open that scheduled to be held in Bukit Jalil from Nov 24 to Nov 29 could be canceled.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Bukit Jalil from March 31 to April 5, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“First of all, top players may choose to skip it because it does not offer Olympic qualification points,” said Zakaria to Malaysian media.

“Secondly, we’ll need to spend a lot of additional cost by providing screening equipment such as the thermal scanners, while we may have to play with very little or no crowd due to social distancing. It’s going to hurt us financially,” added Zakaria.

“We would rather spend that money to send our junior players to compete abroad, giving them more exposures,” explained Zakaria.

“BAM is currently studying every possible detail before making a final decision in regards to the 2020 Malaysia Open,” said Zakaria.

Meanwhile, Zakaria also said that BAM should also make sure it has enough money sending players to more tournaments next year when the Olympic qualification period will be re-instated from Week 1-17 in 2021.

Commenting on the participation of the Malaysian badminton squad at the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals that will be held in Denmark this October, Zakaria said BAM still waiting for confirmation from Demark as to whether or not continue with the tournaments despite the concerns of coronavirus pandemic.

“We are currently waiting for a decision from Denmark to whether or not allowing Thomas and Uber Cup to be held in Aarhus, Denmark,” said Zakaria.

The Thomas and Uber Cup Finals were initially scheduled for May 16 to 24 and had then been postponed to Aug. 15 to 23 following the COVID-19 outbreak. The tournaments then were moved to new dates of 3-11 October 2020 as the Danish Government has decided to extend a ban on “larger gatherings” in Denmark until the end of August.

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