Uncertainty looms large on 2020 Taipei Open badminton tournament

Uncertainty looms large on 2020 Taipei Open badminton tournament

Chou Tien-Chen at the 2019 Yonex Taipei Open

TAIPEI, July 28, 2020: The 2020 Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament schedule has been thrown into disarray with international players expressing reluctance over quarantine regulations.
International players raised doubts when they realized that regulations mandate all incoming players are required to stay in the country for 14 days before they can leave regardless of how well they perform in the tournament, said Chen Shih-Chieh, Chinese Taipei Badminton Association deputy director.
According to the regulations formulated by Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center, international players will initially be kept at a quarantine hotel in Taoyuan for five days upon entering the country before they are tested, Chen said.
After the results come back negative, players will be allowed to compete in Taipei but will need to stay a total of 14 days when they will be tested again and only allowed to leave if the results are negative, Chen said.
"This has raised a lot of concerns from international players as they can't choose to leave if they happen to lose or drop out during the tournament," Chen pointed out.
Badminton Association of Malaysia General Secretary Dato' Kenny Goh Chee Keong said Saturday that his association will not send a team if Taiwan enforces a "two-week mandatory quarantine" for international players.
World No. 7 Malaysian mixed doubles team Peng Soon and partner Goh Liu Ying, who were semi-finallists at the Taipei Open last year have expressed their support for the decision.
"Our stand is the same as the BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia). If we're needed to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival, then most likely we're not going," Peng Soon said to English-language Malaysian newspaper The Star on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Sports Administration said they find it "understandable" that Malaysian or other international players are hesitant about competing in the event as many major tournaments around the world have been canceled or postponed this year due to COVID-19.
The Gwangju Korea Masters 2020, originally slated for November 24 to 29, was also cancelled, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Due to the uncertainty of the situation the Chinese Taipei Badminton Association is inclined to cancel this year's tournament, while the BWF has asked the association to postpone the event, according to a source familiar with the matter.
However, the Sports Administration said the badminton association and the BWF are still holding talks on how to get things up and running.
The BWF Super 300 tier 2020 Yonex Taipei Open is still scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6 in Taiwan's capital with a total purse of US$500,000, according to the BWF's website.