The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday.
This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980.
The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000.
The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes to the tournament schedule in May.
The decision to cancel the tournament was made following months of negotiations with the Central Epidemic Command Center, the Sports Administration and the BWF, the association said.
“All businesses have suffered because of the pandemic, and we have also had trouble securing funding for the tournament. Not only is there a severe decline in funds provided by sponsors, but ticket sales would also be affected if only limited seats were available in the arena,” association secretary-general Lee Yu-long (李侑龍) said.
The association would accumulate additional costs from the testing and quarantine of referees and players, he said, adding that international referees have also had a pay increase.
The center required that athletes competing in the tournament submit a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the nation, the association said.
The international players would then initially have to stay at a quarantine hotel in Taoyuan for five days before being tested for COVID-19.
Should the result come back negative, the player would be allowed to compete in the tournament, but would need to stay for 14 days, when they would be tested again, and would only allowed to leave if the result remained negative.
Malaysia on Saturday last week said that it would not send players to compete in Taipei if athletes would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. India, Japan and South Korea also indicated that they would not compete.
The association said it tried to postpone the tournament until November and book a different venue, but all other large venues were already reserved.
The BWF yesterday also announced that the Korea Open, the Victor China Open and the Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open, which were also to be held in September, were canceled.
“We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel tournaments, but feel that the well-being of everyone involved is most important at this time,” BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund said in a statement.
“We share the disappointment of many around the world who were looking forward to the return of badminton, and appreciate all of the continued support from our fans and partners as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 2020 season,” he added.
Later events in Asia, such as the Super 500 Hong Kong Open in November and December’s World Tour finals in China, remain listed on the calendar, but the BWF said that a decision on future events “will be made in due course.”
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