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Badminton restart 'difficult to predict', says BWF chief

The badminton circuit has been suspended since mid-March
The badminton circuit has been suspended since mid-March Oli SCARFF AFP
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Hong Kong (AFP)

Badminton will be back in action "as soon as possible" after the coronavirus crisis, the sport's chief told AFP, adding that international travel restrictions were complicating the picture.

Badminton, like tennis, golf and other sports with an international circuit, faces major hurdles after countries introduced an array of travel bans and quarantine periods to combat COVID-19.

Thomas Lund, secretary general of the Badminton World Federation, said an announcement on a rejigged 2020 calendar was expected soon. But he cautioned that the situation remained fluid.

"We are gearing up to be ready to start competition as soon as possible. This includes formulating a revamped BWF tournament calendar for 2020. An announcement on this will be made shortly," Lund said in a statement to AFP.

"But at this point in time, it is difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted by individual countries and territories in order to guarantee that players, their entourage, officials and staff can participate in tournaments safely."

Badminton has already moved the Thomas and Uber Cups, a highlight of the season, to later in the year, hoping that the virus emergency will have passed.

The de facto men's and women's world team championships -- orginally scheduled for May, and then moved to August -- are now set to take place in Aarhus, Denmark in October.

The pinnacle of the badminton season had been expected to be the Tokyo Olympics, now shifted to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All BWF tournaments have been suspended since mid-March, when most professional sports worldwide were frozen as travel restrictions bit and a swathe of countries went into lockdown.

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