The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton England can confirm one more player – Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit – has been withdrawn from the YONEX All England Open 2021. Yigit was on the same inbound flight from Turkey to UK as the Indonesian team.
The UK Government’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service did also communicate notice of the required self-isolation to Yigit, with BWF and Badminton England receiving confirmation early Thursday morning GMT.
Both BWF and Badminton England would like to clarify that the decision to enforce Indonesian team players and entourage, and now Yigit, to self-isolate for 10 days was made independently by the NHS Test and Trace service.
This action is in accordance with the UK Government COVID-19 protocols and requirements as per its national legislation, and separate to any guidelines set by BWF and Badminton England in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for the YONEX All England Open 2021.
Subsequently, BWF and Badminton England had no other option but to follow the NHS directive and withdraw the participants from the tournament.
This is a very unfortunate circumstance and something BWF and Badminton England did not wish for the Indonesian team and Yigit from Turkey. We can confirm impassioned attempts were made by Badminton England to gain exemption for the players and Indonesian team members, and to explore alternative options to guarantee their participation. However, the UK Government’s legislation is in place to, first and foremost, protect the British public against COVID-19 and their decision was final and non-negotiable.
BWF and Badminton England are in contact with the those impacted and are committed to supporting all individuals right through their self-isolation period. We also share the frustration felt by the players, as well as the many Indonesian supporters around the world. We sympathise greatly with what has happened and apologise for the inconvenience caused to the Indonesian players and team entourage, and Yigit from Turkey. We assure you we are doing the best we can within our powers, including to continue to provide a safe environment for all participants.
Unfortunately, BWF and Badminton England cannot operate outside the protocols and operating procedures determined by the local government health authority in command.
While it is with regret that the Indonesian players and Yigit will not be able to compete in the current or next round of the tournament, we can confirm that the championships will continue with Day 2 action commencing 9am GMT.