PETALING JAYA: Badminton Asia will not rush into seeking a new date and venue for the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) that was postponed from its initial dates from April 21-26.

The flagship event was supposed to be staged in Manila but the Philippines BA have notified Badminton Asia that they can no longer host it after their government imposed a one-month lockdown on March 16 to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the city.

There were more than 200 positive cases with 17 deaths reported thus far.

This has forced Badminton Asia to relocate the championships for a second time as Manila was initially brought in to replace Chinese city Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly virus.

But they are not in a hurry.

Badminton Asia president Anton Aditya Subowo said he did not want badminton to be labelled as a “selfish” sport in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to be more sensitive to the world community,” Anton told Indonesian sports portal Detiksport.

“We can’t let badminton be seen as selfish by being persistent about organising tournaments in the current circumstances.

“This is what I have conveyed to the BWF (Badminton World Federation).”

Anton confirmed that all the members as well as the BWF have been informed about the postponement.

The ABC is one of the few final tournaments before the Tokyo Olympic qualification period ends on April 30.

There will be also other continental championships taking place in the same period including the European Championship and Pan-Am Championship.

There has been no decision made yet on these two meets, which are also expected to be affected by the coronavirus concerns.

Anton said Macau has declared its interest to take over from Manila but Badminton Asia will be considering all aspects before making a decision.

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