Statement made by Louise Huber-Fennell, YONEX German Open-Tournament Director, regarding the tournament cancellation

28 Feb 2020

„First of all, I wish to thank my Event Office Team and the Organization Committee, who have been working tirelessly and passionately for many months to help prepare the tournament. For me, as the new tournament director this year, their knowledge, expertise and experience were indispensable.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the approximately 150 volunteers from the 1st Badminton of Mülheim (1. BVM), who perform an enormous amount of volunteer service each year– along with the 70 or so Technical Officials who would have supported us during the tournament week. Many even take a holiday to be a part of it all. As such, the disappointment is great for us all that the circumstances are as they are.

In addition, I would like to thank our patrons and sponsors, especially our main Sponsor, the YONEX GmbH, for their long-term support and commitment and understanding for the cancellation. I equally wish to thank our regional partners, with whom with have been working successfully for many years.

In the same manner, I give my thanks to the teams and players, who come to Mülheim an der Ruhr again and again to participate in the YONEX German Open.
The fantastic atmosphere that our loyal and incredible fans create will be missed by us all.

Lastly also many thanks to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) who is supporting us through this difficult phase.

What happened and how do we move forward?
We had been in communication with the city officials and the local health department for a month, in order to clarify which requirements and preventative measures relating to the corona virus needed to be met – in an effort to cover as many contingencies as possible. No one could have expected that cases would pop up so suddenly in North Rhine-Westphalia.

On Wednesday morning (26 Feb 2020), the city of Mülheim, together with the local health authority, informed us of their decision to cancel the tournament. Although this decision came as a surprise to us, we respect this. After all, health always comes first!

Subsequently, we naturally posed the question whether the tournament could simply be postponed. The BWF provided us with four alternative dates. Three of these cannot be realized. The fourth date is currently still be tested for feasibility. As a tournament of this size and complexity has many contractual obligations, we must also review all the legal aspects of this situation.

Many fans have been asking about ticket refunds. We have already initiated the refund process. We will post the details of how and where this can be done on our website and FaceBook page as soon as possible.
We truly hope that the future of Germany’s largest badminton tournament, the YONEX German Open, is not under threat as a result of this last-minute cancellation. For this, we depend on the good cooperation with the BWF, our patrons and sponsors, as well as our business partners – not to mention the loyalty of our great volunteers and fans, as well as the players themselves.

In conclusion, I wish you the best of health and hope that I will have happier news to share next time."


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