The India Open Super 500 tournament, which is a crucial event leading up to the Tokyo Olympic qualification, will take place without any spectators in the building. Due to the global coronavirus outbreak, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) said last Wednesday that these changes were implemented as a safety precaution.
The $400,000 tournament was instantly put under threat from the outbreak of COVID-19, which has already claimed the lives of many people around the world and infected numerous others. Yet, the BAI and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) issued a joint statement, stating that while the event will proceed, precautionary measures mean that spectators will not be allowed into the building for it. The event is due to take place between March 24 and 29.
“The India Open will be held as planned at the KD Jadhav stadium in Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium but to ensure safety of everybody we have decided not to allow any spectator this time,” said Ajay K Singhania, the General Secretary of BAI. However, in a bid to make up for this, fans will have the ability to watch the games on YouTube initially, while Hotstar will show the matches from the quarterfinals onwards.
While the coronavirus has halted multiple sporting events around the world already, including four Olympic qualifying badminton events, sports betting has also gone through a decline. Yet, once these sports have started back up, the likelihood is that they will attract attention from bettors once again. Some platforms also provide mobile betting, such as Bet365. And if you’re interested in this, there’s a download and install guide for this mobile app that you can follow, allowing you to wager from any location.
India Suspends Travel and Puts Rules into Effect
As of the moment, all regular visas and e-visas granted prior to March 2 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan and who haven’t already entered India, have now been suspended. Not only that, but the government introduced a 14-day quarantine for people coming from the Republic of Korea, Iran and Italy and entering India.
What’s more, passengers arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Macau, Vietnam and Taiwan must undergo medical screening at any port of entry into India. As it happens, the draw of the Indian Open includes shuttlers from the vast majority of these countries, with a number of top Chinese players also participating. These include He Bingjiao, Shi Yu Qi and Lin Dan, all of whom have been cleared to participate in the BWF World Tour tournaments based in Europe.
Following on from the India Open, the Malaysia Open World Tour Super 750 and the Singapore Open World Tour Super 500 are the only two remaining major events which fall inside the April 28 deadline for Olympic qualification. Various top players are racing against time to be able to book their ticket to the Tokyo games, including the aforementioned Lin Dan, and London bronze medallist Saina Nehwal.