China Recalls Badminton Players From Japan Open As Territorial Spat Worsens

Lin Dan China Badminton

Photo: Getty / Michael Regan

The Badminton World Federation has confirmed that China has recalled all of its badminton players who had been in Japan to compete in the Japan Open, AFP reports.While Li Yongbo, the Chinese teams coach, was initially reported as saying that his players were too tired after the Olympics and two other tournaments in row, the move comes after tension between the two nations over a small chain of islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diayou in China.

The tensions have seen widespread and sometimes violent anti-Japanese protests in China at the weekend.

One unnamed official told Reuters that “some sort of political reason could be suspected”, while a Chinese badminton official later appeared to confirm the motivation to the AFP, “The decision was to ensure players’ safety… so considering the intense China-Japan relations these days, we quit.”

Reuters also reports that a Japanese cycling team had been kicked off of the Tour of China.

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