London: The world badminton championships, set for May 12-18 in England, has been postponed because of fears over SARS, the International Badminton Federation said on Wednesday.
The federation issued a statement saying it had taken the decision “with the greatest regret”.
A total of 337 players from 48 countries, including many in China and other Asian nations, had been entered for the Birmingham championships.
China, where the SARS outbreak began, is the foremost badminton nation in the world and would have sent a 30-strong party of players and officials.
The IBF statement said: “Following concerns raised by several member associations about their reluctance or inability to send players, some of whom were relying on advice received from their own governments, and considering that the world championships’ environment would result in many close-contact situations between players, officials and volunteers, a majority of the IBF Executive Board felt on balance that a postponement was the responsible decision.”
The statement said that IBF president would be calling a board meeting as soon as possible to discuss the consequences of the decision.