Kuala Lumpur: It’s never easy to organize anything during the COVID-19 pandemic as event organizers were struggling to predict how the coronavirus situation will evolve, and whether they should host or cancel the events.
The much anticipated 2020 World Junior Championships that was originally scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 11 in Auckland, New Zealand, before being moved to Jan 11 to Jan 24, 2020 (due to the pandemic), has officially been canceled by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
“It’s a very complicated matter to manage the health of the players, staff, and volunteers coming into New Zealand,” said Badminton New Zealand (BNZ) Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock.
“There will be an estimated 400 players from around the world participating in the tournament, with the addition of another 200-300 people that including coaches, staff, and BWF officials,” added Hitchcock.
“BNZ would need to bear the cost as all the personnel who need to spend 14-days in isolation,” continued Hitchcock.
“Furthermore, even though New Zealand may make exemptions, but the country currently only allows citizens and permanent residents returning to the country,” explained Hitchcock.
Meanwhile, BWF secretary general Thomas Lund issued his apology to the junior badminton players.
“We are, of course, disappointed not to be able to stage it, but the entry restrictions in place and complexities related to the Covid-19 situation make it impossible for the event to take place as scheduled,” said Lund in a statement.
“Some junior players will turn 19 years old in 2021 and unfortunately, miss out on the World Junior Championships experience,” added Lund.
“It has been a difficult and extraordinary year during the pandemic but we all look forward to a more consistent junior international badminton calendar in 2021 and the next junior meets in China in October 2021,” explained Lund.
Since the host cities for the 2021 (Chengdu, China), 2022 (TBD, Spain), and 2023 (Honolulu, USA) World Junior Championships have already been chosen, BWF has granted New Zealand the right to host the 2024 edition.