6th May BAofE website England to submit new World Championship plan England will go to the International Badminton Federation shortly to seek agreement in principle for the staging of the 13th World Badminton Championships. Within a week of the event being postponed because of fears over SARS, the Badminton Association of England have been in detailed talks with their partners and are assessing the feasibility of staging the championships in August. The National Indoor Arena, who were to have staged the championships from May 12-18, are eager for the show to go on and have offered the BA of E a choice of dates within a three-week window from July 25-August 18, the only dates they have available between now and the end of 2003. And UK Sport, despite being critical of the IBF’s Executive Board’s ‘bizarre and illogical’ decision to postpone the championships in the first place, have confirmed that they are ready for the original lottery grant to ‘roll over’ to the new date. The third, and possibly most essential, element is already being tackled as well. Within 24 hours of postponement the BA of E wrote to their army of volunteer workers asking if they were still available if the championships are rearranged. The initial reaction, as you would expect, is extremely positive. BA of E chief executive Stephen Baddeley said today: “The response from our partners has been terrific. Both the NEC group, who run the NIA, and UK Sport contacted us to say they were behind us all the way. “We all want this prestige event to go ahead. All we want now is confirmation from the IBF. I intend to contact the IBF chief executive Neil Cameron in Cheltenham and ask him to forward our proposal to the President, Korn Dabbaransi, and his Executive Board. “We are seeking instant approval for an agreement in principle so that detailed work on the contractual arrangements can progress. “We can see no reason why this should not be granted and once it is the BA of E staff can get back to work with the IBF on the staging of the event and other vital elements, not least worldwide television coverage. “It is ironic that within three days of the Executive Board’s decision, Britain has been taken off the World Health Organisation’s list of countries affected by SARS. “That merely confirms what we originally believed – that the championships could have gone ahead safely. “But it certainly means that once we have IBF authorisation, we can get straight on with preparing for the 13th World Championships. “The IBF have already confirmed the championships are still ours to stage and that’s precisely what we want to do. “When I addressed the IBF member nations over the scoring system at the EGM in Eindhoven in March, I said I hoped the meeting marked the start of a spirit of co-operation without which our sport will not prosper. “And the BA of E’s own partners, the NEC group and UK Sport, have already taken that on board with their renewed support. “Now, within seven weeks of Eindhoven, I am urging the IBF’s Executive Board to capture that spirit and confirm that in another 12 weeks or so the QI IBF World Championships will be taking place at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.” *The World Championships will involve 350 players from 47 nations and will be a key event in the one-year Olympic qualifying programme, which started on May 1.