New Delhi [India], April 19 (ANI): Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary Ajay Singhania on Monday announced that the upcoming India Open 2021 has been postponed due to the upsurge in coronavirus cases here in the national capital.
"After consulting BWF we have decided to postpone the India Open 2021 due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Delhi and a new week-long lockdown which will be in effect from 10 pm today. The situation is not suitable to organise the tournament. It is sad that this tournament is getting cancelled for the second time. We are sure that we will host this tournament whenever the situation gets better," Singhania said at the virtual press conference.
"Considering the current challenges, BAI is left with no option but to announce the postponement of the tournament for the time being. We had an entry of 228 players and close to 300 people gathering including coaches, support staff and officials and the circumstances are such that the 2021 edition of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open seems, for now, a very risky affair. Several rounds of discussions were held with BWF as well as the Delhi Government and other stakeholders and accessing the safety of players and officials, BAI needed to take this decision," he added.
Badminton World Federation (BWF) also issued a statement and said: "The decision was made in consultation and collaboration with local health authorities in Delhi and the Badminton World Federation.
"All attempts were made by organisers to conduct a safe tournament environment for all participants, but the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and gravity of the situation in Delhi left BAI no choice but to postpone the tournament," it added.
India Open is classified as BWF World Tour Super 500 event and is one of the last few qualification events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The tournament was to be conducted behind closed doors at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi from May 11-16.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the national capital with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal it has been decided that it is important to impose a lockdown in Delhi, from 10 pm on Monday night to 5 am next Monday (April 26), for six days. (ANI)