India is ready to host Sudirman Cup 2023 if China does now not, says BAI Secretary General Sanjay Mishra

India is ready to host Sudirman Cup 2023 if China does not, says BAI Secretary General Sanjay Mishra

China has been unable to stage hordes of international sporting events, including the BWF World Tour finals last month, since a rise in COVID-19 casualties in the East Asian nation. This has added to international badminton’s headache with the Sudirman Cup (World Mixed Team Championship) scheduled for the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou from May 14. The city was previously scheduled to host the prestigious event in 2021 before COVID-19 pushed it back to 2023.

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Amid the uncertainty, India asked the badminton world federation (BWF) to host the event more than a month ago.

“We have asked the BWF to host the Sudirman Cup if China is unable to host it due to the situation in their country,” BAI General Secretary Mishra said. “The president of BAI (Himanta Biswas) said that the government will support us if we get the hosting rights for the Sudirman Cup, but we have to wait and see if China can still host it.”

All eyes are now on the China Super 100 tournament starting March 14. The city where the event will take place has not yet been decided and its postponement would mean that the BWF would consider looking for an alternative option as it did for the World Tour Finals last December. The global body moved the event from Guangzhou to Bangkok while moving the tournament a week ahead of schedule.

BWF pleased with fan turnout at India Open

Indian Open 2023 crowd
A fan holds a portrait of Viktor Axelsen during the Indian Open 2023 final at KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi on Sunday. Image credit: BAI

India’s bid to host the Sudirman Cup received further impetus with BWF delegates, including its board member Vishu Tolan, appreciating fan attendance at the India Open concluded on Sunday despite the early departures of all local favorites including PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.

“The BWF officials were happy to see how the New Delhi fans welcomed the foreign players despite the early departure of the Indian players. They also appreciated the arrangements made for the tournament,” Sanjay said.

Interestingly, India was in contention to host the Sudirman Cup in 2023 itself. However, the BWF then decided to award it to Suzhou, which was unable to host the tournament in 2021 due to COVID-19. India has instead secured the hosting rights for the 2026 BWF World Championships.

China has already failed to hold a number of major events in 2023 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix (the fourth year in a row) in Beijing and the World Indoor Athletics Championships in March in Nanjing.
Late last year, China’s badminton federation canceled the Hong Kong Open and the Macau Open, while the Asian Games in Hangzhou were the biggest miss with a year’s postponement.