KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 – The forced withdrawal of the entire Indonesian team from this year’s All England Championships has sparked outrage in badminton mad Indonesia.
It could have far-reaching consequences as questions are being asked on the manner it was done.
The withdrawal ruling was enforced after several of the Indonesian players had already played and won their respective first-round matches. Several others were forced to concede walkovers.
What happened in Birmingham with the world’s oldest and most prestigious tournament in the shuttle sport is a hot topic and the backlash is being felt in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has called it an act of ”discrimination ánd unfairness” with a hidden agenda.
A statement issued by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed that several players and officials from the Indonesian team were contacted by the United Kingdom’s National Health Services (NHS) and ordered to self-isolate with immediate effect for 10 days from the date of their inbound flight to Birmingham on Saturday.
This was after an unidentified passenger in their Turkish flight tested positive for coronavirus.
It happened after Jonatan Christie (men’s singles), Marcus Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya, and Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (men’s doubles) had played and won their first-round matches. Others who had not played their matches were forced to concede a walkover.
Jonatan Christie

Indonesian badminton fans accused BWF of unfairness while PBSI chairman Agung Firman Sampurba added that ”disabling” Indonesian players is one way for the host nastion to stop Indonesians from becoming champions in the All England.

Indonesia’s Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said it is ”injustice” for the players and said: ”Íf we ignore it will be seen as weak with the possibility of being treated the same way in future events.”
”The players and officials were tested negative on arrival and they were allowed to mingle. It does not make sense to ‘punish’ them this way. The tournament and Covid-19 rules should be spelled out clearly. Right now it is utter confusion.”
The self-quarantine of the team will also be a costly affair for PBSI as it will have to foot the bill during the stay in Birmingham.
A fact to be noted is that all the Indonesian players and officials had taken their vaccination before going to Birmingham.

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