Olympic Qualifiers: BAI looks to get players in Malaysia by May 10 to adhere to quarantine guidelines

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New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): The second wave of COVID-19 in India has seen various travel restrictions with an eye on health and safety. This has seen athletes miss out on flights for their scheduled tournaments and qualifiers in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics as there have been flight bans imposed by other countries.

As a result, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has written to the respective Associations of Malaysia and Singapore for clarity on what will be the exact regulations that will be applied for Indian shuttlers when they arrive there for Olympic qualifiers.

Commenting on the same, BAI in a statement said: "Currently as per the laid-out guidelines, for any Indian to enter Singapore, they have to either be in quarantine in a foreign country other than India for 14 days before they will be allowed to enter Singapore alternatively, all players have to maintain a 21-day quarantine in Singapore.

"As for Malaysia, for now, there is a 14-day quarantine guideline which means, our players have to reach Malaysia on May 10, 2021, to follow the protocols laid out by both countries. We have also reached out to Malaysian Federation to understand if there are any updated quarantine rules that will be imposed on Indian players. Both the member associations and BWF are cooperating and we are in constant touch."

Throwing light on the visa ban and how the association is looking to tackle it, BAI said: "We have already submitted the travel documents of our Olympic-bound and Olympic probable players (PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty, Satwik, Saina Nehwal, Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, and Sikki Reddy) and officials for visa processing. Though there is a ban on the issue of visa for Indians except for sports-related travel activities, visa is available on certain terms and conditions. We are in touch with the member associations of Malaysia and Singapore for the necessary documentation."

But the BAI is also aware that the players cannot directly travel from India to Malaysia and Singapore. "With the current travel restrictions, Indian players will not be able to take direct flights. We have checked for via routes and the alternatives are either from Sri Lanka or from Doha and Indian shuttlers are most likely to travel via Qatar," BAI explained. (ANI)