The Badminton World Federation on Wednesday backed the postponement of Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus scare.

Notably, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which were slated to commence on July 24, have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach and other stakeholders on Tuesday.

“Today, we stand in solidarity with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in welcoming the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said BWF in a statement on their website.

“BWF fully supports the decision made yesterday by IOC President Thomas Bach, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, and the Tokyo Organising Committee (TOCOG) to ‘reschedule the Games to a date beyond 2020 but no later than summer 2021’,” it added.

The coronavirus, which has already been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has so far claimed more than 19,500 lives and affected over 440,000.

“Right now, our immediate thoughts are with everyone affected by this global pandemic. From the start, the health, safety and wellbeing of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton fraternity have been our No.1 priority,” said BWF.

“BWF will continue to monitor all developments regarding COVID-19, and in line with advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), various health experts, IOC and IPC, will make the best choices in the interests of international players and the general badminton community,” it added.