The badminton teams of China and Hong Kong had pulled out from this week's Badminton Asia Team Championships which is going to be held in Manila because of the coronavirus outbreak, as stated by the organisers on Tuesday. More than 43,000 people have been infected with the flu-like virus around the world and over 1,000 deaths have been confirmed.
The Philippines has banned all travellers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau for the time being because of the outbreak which has left the organisers scrambling to try and arrange visas for players and officials for the event. "However, the decision to impose the 14 days quarantine period for all travellers coming from China, Hong Kong and Macau has to be respected in view of the health and safety of the Philippines government for its people," a statement from Badminton Asia read.
China Hong Kong pulled out from Badminton Asia Team Championships
"It is in this respect that the above event will not see the teams from China and Hong Kong competing. India's Women Team withdrawal was owing to concerns shown by the parents and players." India will, however, send its men's team after they agreed to travel to Manila.
The tournament will lose much of its sheen with the withdrawal of China, which has been the dominant force in badminton for decades. The coronavirus epidemic has had a major impact on the sports calendar in Asia.
The outbreak has seen Olympic qualifying tournaments for boxing, basketball and women's soccer postponed, rescheduled or moved from China, while badminton, motorsports, hockey and tennis events have also been affected. The world indoor athletics championships, which were due to be held in Nanjing from March 15-18, was arguably the biggest event to be affected by the outbreak.