Will Poul-Erik Hoyer serve full term as BWF president?

Badminton associations worldwide are keeping close tabs on a possible change in leadership within the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

The word “uncertainty” had been bandied about among representatives of member associations as they wonder if BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer will serve until 2025, or leave mid-way.

In 2020, Hoyer had publicly revealed that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

The former Danish shuttler, in a statement then, said “medical science has come a long way in dealing with Parkinson’s disease, and I feel very little impact of the disease in all areas of my day-to-day life.”

Hoyer remained a hit among the affiliates and was re-elected unopposed as BWF president in 2021, a post he has held since 2013.

However, it is understood that Hoyer, during the BWF annual general meeting (AGM) in Bangkok last May, had announced that it would be his last AGM.

Twentytwo13 learnt that Hoyer’s announcement left delegates shell-shocked, resulting in a “pin-drop silence for several minutes.”

Several senior BWF council members later confirmed Hoyer’s desire to retire.

The subject was raised during a BWF council meeting in Tokyo last August. Twentytwo13 was told that the council members had even deliberated on how BWF could assist Hoyer to retire mid-term of his presidency.

However, since then, there has been no indication if Hoyer would step down sooner than expected.

While some brushed off the possible changing of the guard, others insisted there needs to be certainty as “badminton is still growing, with development programmes to further popularise the sport in the Americas and other parts of the world”.

Some even suggested that Hoyer play an advisory role instead.

As a shuttler, Hoyer won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s singles event held in Atlanta in 1996. He is also winner of two All-England Open Badminton Championships (1995 and 1996), and won the European Badminton Championships in 1992, 1994, and 1996.

Hoyer was named president of Badminton Europe in 2010 before being elected BWF president in 2013. He was re-elected as BWF president in 2017.

Last month, Hoyer acknowledged HSBC’s support when the banking and financial institution extended its sponsorship deal with BWF until 2026.

“We trust the next four years will bear even greater fruit as we enter the new cycle of the BWF World Tour and double down on our commitment to the AirBadminton project, with the sport set to debut at the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) World Beach Games,” Hoyer said in a statement.