Saturday, May 21, 2022

Badminton World Federation suffers due to COVID-19 woes

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Due to Covid-19, badminton has become one of the most afflicted sports in the world. Not only were 70% of the BWF World Tour events cancelled in 2020 owing to the Coronavirus outbreak, but the world body of badminton also incurred significant financial losses as a result of the same. BWF reported a $9.82 million loss in their annual report, despite forecasting a profit of $4.31 million for the year.

In the entirety of 2020, the Badminton World Federation managed to generate just USD 3.9 million. The event costs, which were 25.13 million in 2019, plummeted to 3.56 million. The Thomas Cup Finals, Uber Cup Finals, and World Tour Finals were the three primary events that were scrapped out of all the events that had had to be put on hold.

The current four-year contract term, which was set to expire in 2021, got extended by a year to 2022, according to the BWF, because a large number of tournaments were cancelled last year owing to Covid-19. The broadcast and sponsorship rights for the BWF event are marketed by the Infront agency under an eight-year arrangement between the two parties from 2018 to 2025. In addition, digital and betting rights were included in the agreement.

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Amidst everything, a fresh scoring system for badminton could have been implemented if a single vote at the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) AGM, conducted digitally last Saturday, had turned out differently. Indonesia and the Maldives proposed changing the current system of best-of-three games and 21 points to 511 points, which was supported by Badminton Asia, Korea, and Chinese Taipei associations. It received 66.31 percent in favor and 33.69 percent against, coming up just a bit shy of the 66.67 percent needed for a two-thirds majority to pass the modification.

President Poul-Erik Hoyer, who was re-elected unopposed on Saturday, said, “Our membership has spoken, and despite the very small margin in which the two-thirds majority was not reached, the BWF respects the outcome to retain the three games to 21 points scoring system. It is the second time such a proposal has not been approved, but I see the fantastic participation of the membership (282 votes) and the decision reached today as an indication that the badminton community is very much engaged in the best interests of the sport during these difficult and challenging times.”

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