Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is considering applying the “bubble” concept, by organizing the 2021 Malaysian Open and Malaysian Masters at the same location in Kuala Lumpur next April.
BAM secretary-general Kenny Goh told Malaysian media that BAM already discussed the possibility of implementing the bubble system with the World Badminton Federation (BWF).
“If we get the green light from BWF, we are going to run the two tournaments similar to the system used by the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT),” said Goh.
BAT will be hosting three ‘bubble’ tournaments, including the two 2020 BWF World Tour Asia leg competitions – Yonex Thai Open and Toyota Thai Open as well as the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok, Thailand next January.
The Yonex Thailand Open will take place from January 12 to 17 and the Toyota Thailand Open from January 19 to 24 while the BWF World Tour Finals will take place from January 27 to 31.
“Right now we are waiting for feedback from BWF on this matter. BWF needs some time to study this proposal as they also need to compile a tournament calendar throughout 2021,” explained Goh.
“If BWF agrees that we can organize a ‘bubble’ tournament for the Malaysian Open and the Malaysian Masters. Then, whether the Malaysian Open takes place first or vice versa, we will think about that later,” continued Goh.
Previously, the 2021 Malaysian Masters was originally scheduled to take place from 19 to 24 January had to be postponed to make way for the three ‘bubble’ tournaments that will take place in Bangkok.
According to the BWF calendar, the Malaysian Open 2021 is scheduled to take place from 6 to 11 April and if approved by the BWF, it is very likely that the Malaysian Masters will be held a week before or after the Malaysian Open.
Goh also stressed that if BWF approved the proposal, BAM and the Malaysian government will work together by following strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure the safety of players and tournament officials.
“BAM will meet with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Council, and National Security Council to come up with SOPs that are appropriate to the current situation in Malaysia,” said Goh.