Badminton: Virus hits Europe, Asia tournaments as five more events are cancelled

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Badminton’s European Championships and Asia Championships have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Friday, the latest sporting casualties of the outbreak.

The global sporting calendar is in tatters due to the rapidly spreading virus, with events from football’s European Championship to the French Open tennis postponed.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said the European and Asian tournaments, which had both been due to run from April 21-26, were being suspended due to the outbreak.

The Pan Am Individual Championships in Peru, the Croatian International and the Peru International – all taking place in the second half of April – were also postponed, the BWF said.

“The health, safety and well-being of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community remains the top priority,” the group said in a statement.

All five tournaments were scheduled to be played within the Tokyo Olympics qualifying period, but the postponements mean they will no longer contribute to qualifying, the body said.

The Olympics are increasingly in doubt as the pandemic, which emerged in China last year but has now spread around the world, shows no sign of slowing down.

The BWF had previously suspended all tournaments until April 12 due to the virus, which has killed more than 10,000 people worldwide.

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