Shortly after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had confirmed that England had withdrawn from the 2017 Sudirman Cup competition, Badminton England (BE) issued a statement on their website, expressing its “deep disappointment” at having to make such a decision.
“The Sudirman Cup was always in our plans, particularly with the Commonwealth Games just 11 months later,” said Performance Director Jon Austin, according to the statement on the BE website, “but we are now working through an unprecedented financial situation as a consequence of the recent funding decisions.
“The decision is a tough one to make but we have had to consider the investments we make very carefully. The pressures we are facing right now, both through the people resource and financial investment needed means we are regrettably not in a position to commit to the Sudirman Cup this year.”
Indeed, English badminton’s predicament has been in the news since late last year, when it was announced that UK Sport had cut all badminton funding. Just last week, it was announced that the National Badminton League would also be discontinued.
England’s best ever finish at the Sudirman Cup was a bronze medal performance at the Glasgow edition in 2007. The mixed team format has been a feature of the European Badminton Championships and the Commonwealth Games since the 1970s and before the inaugural 1989 Sudirman Cup competition, England had already won 5 continental mixed team titles and 3 of their now 6 Commonwealth Games mixed team golds.
The BWF announced yesterday that Germany would replace England in the Sudirman Cup draw and the European team was promoted to Group 1C to join Japan and Malaysia. Germany’s promotion from Group 2A leaves a vacancy that will be filled by New Zealand.
Click here to read the complete statement from the Badminton England website