Better than not playing at all: Axelsen on closed door tournaments

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Jun 5th, 2020, 17:15:15hrs

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) The lack of fans in the stadium during tournaments will make them feel "a bit like a practice session" according to Danish world no.3 badminton star Viktor Axelsen.

"It's going to be a completely different experience. I haven't played a tournament without fans in a very long time," Axelsen told Wion.

"It might feel a bit like a practice session. The fans create an atmosphere which is really special. it is going to be disappointing to play without spectators but it's better than not playing at all."

Playing matches behind closed doors is one of the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) guidelines as it announced a revamped calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic. Over 20 tournaments have been scheduled to take place between September and December, many of which have already been cancelled since.

Axelsen said that he understands the financial implications for BWF due to the freeze on the badminton calendar but hopes that rules are in place for the players to be able to make a choice on whether they want to play the matches or not.

"It is going to be very tough for the players. In this situation, there are no right or wrong answers. I realise that the shutdown has a lot of financial implications for the BWF and they need to get the money pumping in again.

"I just hope there are rules in place so that players are not pushed to play all tournaments. The athletes' health should be the priority, if players play 10 tournaments in 12 weeks then their health will be put in danger. So it is really important that the players are protected in this situation," he said.

--IANS

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