TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Embassy in London is arranging the return of 24 athletes and staffers from the national badminton team who were supposed to compete in All England 2021. They will head home early after being forced to withdraw from the competition as they have close contact with another passenger who later tested positive for Covid-19.
“They will come home as soon as possible. I want to make sure they come home comfortably and safely. Our heroes do not lose. They go home with dignity,” said the Indonesian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Desra Percaya, on Friday, March 19, 2021.
The return plan was also confirmed by the Chairman of the National Badminton Team for All England 2021, Ricky Soebadja. He explained that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had offered their apology so that the Indonesian athletes will focus on returning home.
“This is a huge disappointment. We are annoyed and irritated. We have complied with all health protocols even after we arrived in Birmingham. But it was stated that we have to undergo quarantine. We were escorted [to the hotel] on foot. [People] can imagine what goes on in the minds of athletes. These athletes are top players. [They perhaps] can be a threat to other countries’ athletes,” said Ricky.
According to him, the return plan was also requested by the athletes so that they could prepare themselves for the upcoming event (Olympics).
Indonesia's badminton athletes were supposed to compete in All England 2021 but ended up in self-quarantine at a designated hotel in Birmingham, UK. Indonesia has voiced protests to the concerned parties over this incident.