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Badminton World Federation postpones Thomas and Uber Cup Finals after teams withdraw

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The Badminton World Federation has postponed the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals scheduled for next month following the withdrawals of some high-profile teams because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BWF issued a statement Tuesday saying it made the call in full consultation with host nation Denmark, which had been set to stage the Oct. 3-11 tournament in Aarhus.

Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia had already withdrawn from the event. The BWF said organizers had been working for months to prepare for a safe return to international competition following the lockdown.

"This includes going to extreme lengths to preserve the health and safety of all participants such as implementing a bubble system to create a safe badminton ecosystem," the BWF said in a statement. "However, in view of the recent COVID-19-related developments around the world, a number of teams and individual players have elected not to travel to Denmark for tournaments in Aarhus and Odense, a choice the BWF has to respect and acknowledge."

Organizers are considering possible alternative dates beyond 2020 to reschedule the men's and women's international team championships.

The Denmark Open will proceed as planned from Oct. 13-18, but the Denmark Masters, scheduled for Oct. 20-25, has been canceled.

The BWF is yet to decide whether to proceed with three World Tour tournaments scheduled for Asia.