London, April 5 (IANS) England have been forced to withdraw from the 2017 Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championships due to government funding cuts.

“It is with deep disappointment that we have had to withdraw the England team from participating at the Sudirman Cup,” Jon Austin, Performance Director of Badminton England, said on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We have a long-standing association with the Sudirman Cup, having been one of the founding nations represented at the first-ever championships.

“The Sudirman Cup was always in our plans, particularly with the Commonwealth Games just 11 months later. But we are now working through an unprecedented financial situation as a consequence of recent funding decisions,” he added.

England were originally grouped to face Malaysia and reigning champions Japan in May’s showpiece team event, but will now not send a squad to contend the group stages.

“The decision is a tough one to make but we have had to consider the investments we make very carefully. The pressures we are facing right now, both through the people resource and financial investment needed means we are regrettably not in a position to commit to the Sudirman Cup this year,” Austin said.

The Sudirman Cup, which starts in Gold Coast, Australia, on May 21, takes place every two years. England finished ninth two years ago with the nation’s best finish being reaching the semi-finals in 2007.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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