Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in action during the semifinal match of 2019 Indonesia Open at Istora Senayan stadium in Central Jakarta on Saturday (20/07) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Kevin/Marcus to Miss All England Title Again as Indonesian Team Withdrawn


MARCH 18, 2021

Jakarta. The world's number one men's double pair Kevin Sanjaya Sukomuljo/Marcus Gideon has missed their latest shot at the All England title after The Badminton World Federation, or BWF, withdrawn the Indonesia badminton team from the All England 2021 tournament in Birmingham, England, on Thursday.

BWF informed the Indonesia badminton team that they had to withdraw the team from the All England 2021 tournament in Birmingham, England, after the team members were contacted by UK Government’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service and were required to enter 10-day isolation.

"In accordance with UK Government requirements, the entire team will self-isolate for 10 days from the date of their inbound flight after a person traveling onboard tested positive for Covid-19," BWF said in the statement. 

"All Indonesian players will not be able to compete in the current or next round of the tournament and have therefore been withdrawn from the Yonex All England Open 2021," the federation said.

"While we regret this unfortunate consequence, BWF and Badminton England will continue to follow all protocols required by the UK Government and the local health authorities to ensure the safety of all participants," it said. 

Indonesia's badminton squad is in good condition. None of them were diagnosed with the disease, Ricky Soebagdja, the manager of Indonesia's All England 2021 team, said in a statement released by Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) on Thursday. 

All players and officials are now undergoing isolation until March 23, at the Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Center, 10 days after the team's arrival to Birmingham on Saturday. 

"The condition of all Indonesian team members in Birmingham is currently healthy and well. This is a harrowing and disappointing incident for all of us," Ricky said.

Ricky said that the BWF declared Indonesia must withdraw from the tournament because, during the flight from Istanbul to Birmingham on, Saturday one of the passengers was positively exposed to Covid-19.

"However, we were not told who, how many people, and where did the positive person come from. Under British government regulations, if you are on the same plane as a person who is positive for Covid-19, you are required to undergo 10 days of isolation," Ricky said. 

"Neither the BWF nor the All England committee themselves can do anything about it because this has become a British government regulation," Ricky said.

Three Indonesian representatives have already played in the first round of the All England 2021, including men's double pairs Kevin Sanjaya/Marcus Gideon and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan and men's singles Jonatan Christie. All three beat their opponents. The other four representatives are yet to play.

The Indonesian badminton team departed for Birmingham on Friday, March 12, at 9:40 p.m. from Jakarta after receiving their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the morning. The team took a Turkish Airlines Flight 57 and landed the next day in Birmingham on Saturday afternoon local time.

The All England Open is a major tournament of the BWF World Tour. Indonesia was supposed to defend the mixed double title won by Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti last year.

The world's number one pair, Kevin/Marcus, also came to the tournament with a single aim to reclaim the title they won in 2018. Last year, the pair reached the final but eventually lost to the Japanese pair, Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe. 

Kevin vented his frustration on his social media, calling the BWF to take responsibility for the situation. 

Another Indonesian athlete, Fajar Alfian, who also compete in the men's double, called the decision to withdraw the Indonesian team from the tournament "unfair."