England National Badminton League axed following funding cut

The National Badminton League (NBL) has been scrapped with immediate effect, Badminton England has announced as the fallout from the sport losing all of its funding for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games continues.

Badminton England confirmed the league’s closure after three “game-changing seasons” amid UK Sport’s controversial decision to cut badminton’s funding entirely for the four-year cycle in December.

The sport was left reeling by UK Sport’s decision, which came despite badminton exceeding its medal target at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge claimed bronze in the men’s doubles.

Badminton England then failed with an appeal, along with archery, fencing, table tennis and weightlifting, in February.

The NBL, launched in August 2014, appears to have been the victim of the move from UK Sport.

In a statement, the national governing body said the league was “something that we do not believe to be self-sustainable in the short to medium term and subsequently is something we are unable to protect alongside our attempts to ensure resilience across the core of our sport”.

“The NBL has offered over 130 players from 15 different nations – including many of Britain’s best young rising stars – the chance to play regularly in front of sell out crowds and TV audiences in a format that has become much talked about,” the statement said.

“However, the financial demands that continue to develop the NBL and the high standard of event delivery required, is a significant cost to Badminton England at a time when we are making tough decisions about our people and our activities as a consequence of recent funding decisions.”

Badminton England chief executive of league administrators Adrian Christy admitted the governing body had “other priorities to consider” given…

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