NUSADAILY.COM -JAKARTA – The Indonesian government urged The United Kingdom not to discriminate and be fair to the Indonesian badminton national team that competed in the All England 2021, following news of Indonesia’s withdrawal from the tournament.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Retno Marsudi) has given clear direction to ensure that there is no discrimination and unfair treatment of the participation of Indonesian badminton athletes at the All England tournament,” the Embassy of London said in a written statement on Thursday.
Furthermore, Indonesian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Desra Percaya has communicated with British Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins to request intervention assistance to the British health authority (NHS) to explain the narrative of the 10-day isolation obligation that led to the hampered participation of the Indonesian team in the All England.
The Embassy of London plans to take a direct approach to the British government, especially the NHS, and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as organizers to discuss possible options for action to allow Indonesian athletes to continue the competition.
All members of the Indonesian badminton team were forced to withdraw from the Yonex All England 2021 tournament due to the COVID-19 health protocol which required them to undergo a mandatory quarantine for 10 days.
According to Indonesian Team Manager Ricky Soebagdja, the rule was put in place after British authorities learned that one of the passengers on the plane— was also boarded by the Indonesian team on a flight from Istanbul to Birmingham— which was declared COVID-19 positive.
“However, we are not told who, how many people, and where the COVID-19 positive people came from,” Ricky said in pbsi’s official statement on Thursday.
The withdrawal of the Indonesian team from the All England competition was considered unfair, as there had previously been a case of COVID-19 on Wednesday (17/3) which caused the opening match of the tournament to be delayed by five hours after several athletes and coaches from India, Thailand, and Denmark were found to be positive for coronavirus.
BWF immediately conducted a re-test to the athletes and coaches. After the test results came out negative, they were allowed to continue the competition.
Indonesian athletes protested then protested why the same move was not applied to them, but they were immediately forced to withdraw.
For the record, the UK government is still imposing strict regional lockdowns and health protocol arrangements given the relatively high rate of COVID-19 transmission. The All England tournament was held in a special, tight and closed setting with no spectators. (sak)