Wed, 27 May 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday unveiled a revamped tournament calendar for the remainder of 2020 following disruptions caused by COVID-19.

A potential framework for the return of badminton was formed following planning and consultation with member associations, including the rescheduling of top-tier events that had previously been postponed or suspended, BWF said in a statement.

According to the calender, the earliest tournament will be the Hyderabad Open 2020, planned to be held from Aug. 11 to 16.

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said the calendar would provide the framework to restart competition when it is safe and logistically possible.

"At this point in time, it is difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted by individual countries and territories, but we will not resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that is safe to do so," he said.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community remains our number one priority," he added.

The revamped calendar includes a number of tournaments that had been suspended or postponed earlier due to the pandemic, including the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, as well as the Indonesia Open and the Malaysia Open.

In all, 10 tournaments were canceled, including the Badminton Asia Championships, while several are still pending for a suitable replacement date.

In the condensed calendar, more than one tournament is scheduled to be held simultaneously on several occasions. BWF said there are ongoing considerations around the mandatory player regulations and how this is impacted by the revamped tournament schedule.

According to the regulations, top shuttlers are required to participate in a stipulated number of the top tournaments each year.

The calendar will end with the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China, which has been pushed back a week and will now conclude on Dec. 20.

BWF said it is still working on unfreezing the world rankings in a staggered way to avoid an extreme drop off of points that would affect the ranking structure.

The badminton world governing body is also looking at necessary changes to Olympic and Paralympic qualifying.

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