No Thomas, Uber date change — Shabery

PUTRAJAYA: The Thomas and Uber cups finals would start on Sunday as scheduled despite looming fears of the Influenza A (H1N1), said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.Since no major tournaments, including events like the World Cup football or French Open tennis, had not been postponed due to H1N1, there was no reason for the badminton finals to be rescheduled, he said.

However, precautionary measures would be put in place to avoid any possibilities of the disease from spreading.

“All the major sporting events throughout the world have not been affected by H1N1. But we understand that all the necessary measures must be taken to ensure fans and players are not affected,” he told reporters when asked on the government’s stand on the H1N1 situation in the country yesterday.

Concerns were raised when national singles head coach Rashid Sidek, who tested positive for H1N1, was admitted to hospital for treatment.

Subsequently, all the players and coaches were tested by Health Ministry to ensure everyone was free from the virus.

The finals kick off at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Shabery, who met Monsoon Cup advisor and acting president of World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Datuk Peter    Gilmour, said the success of the Cup had elevated the image of the country.

The staging of the Cup since 2005 had resulted in the event winning numerous awards in the past and last year’s event clinched the Best Overall Event, Best Spectator Experience (for Hot Seat) and Best Innovation Television Production awards presented by International Sailing Federation. — Bernama

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