Badminton’s China, Japan Opens axed because of coronavirus

In this file photo taken on September 13, 2018 a girl watches second round matches at the Japan Open badminton championships in Tokyo. (AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura
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Updated 29 July 2020

Badminton’s China, Japan Opens axed because of coronavirus

  • In a normal year, the China Open and Japan Open would have attracted fields containing all the world’s top-ranked men and women players

TOKYO: Badminton’s prestigious China and Japan Opens were canceled Wednesday by the Badminton World Federation as it announced that four September tournaments in Asia would not be played because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Taipei Open from September 1-6, the Korea Open (Sept 8-13), the China Open (Sept 15-20) and the Japan Open (Sept 22-27) were all axed.
“We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel tournaments, but feel that the wellbeing of everyone involved is most important at this time,” BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said in a statement.
“We share the disappointment of many around the world who were looking forward to the return of badminton and appreciate all of the continued support from our fans and partners as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 2020 season,” he added.
The pandemic has upended sports events around the world, from the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to the cancelation of Wimbledon.
On Tuesday, the WTA Pan Pacific Open in Japan, one of Asia’s top tennis tournaments, was canceled for the first time.
Last week, the men’s ATP Tour and women’s WTA Tour announced all tennis tournaments in China for the rest of the year had been canceled, including the Shanghai Masters and WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Badminton is massively popular across Asia and the China Open is one of only two top-ranked World Super Tour 1000 series tournaments on the calendar while the Japan Open is one of the five annual World Tour Super 750 events.
In a normal year devoid of the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both would have attracted fields containing all the world’s top-ranked men and women players.
Later events in Asia such as the Super 500 Hong Kong Open in November and December’s World Tour finals in China remain listed on the calendar, but the BWF cautioned that a decision on future events “will be made in due course.”


Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

Updated 22 September 2020

Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

  • The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus
  • Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport

ROME: Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is suspected of cheating to pass his Italian language test with the help of his teachers, the Perugia prosecutor’s department in charge of the investigation said on Tuesday.
The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus.
“The investigation showed that the subjects discussed during the exam were agreed beforehand with the candidate and that the grade was awarded to him even before the test,” the prosecutor’s department said in a statement.
Local prosecutor Raffaele Cantone, a former head of Italy’s National Anti-Corruption Authority, had been carrying out an investigation since February into University for Foreigners officials over various irregularities. Suspicions over Suarez were aroused by an overheard conversation.
“But what do you think, that we’re going to fail him? Today I have the last lesson (with Suarez) and I have to prepare it because he barely speaks a word” of Italian, Stefania Spina, one of the people targeted by the investigation, is claimed to have said according to prosecution documents cited by Italian media.
Asked by a colleague what level Suarez “should pass” in Italian, Spina reportedly replied: “He should not, he must, he will pass, because with a salary of 10 million (euros) per season, you can’t make him fail” his exam, “even if he doesn’t know how to conjugate verbs and speak in the infinitive.”
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said last week a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport.
The Italian champions cannot recruit Suarez otherwise because they have already reached their quota for non-EU players.