Lee Chong Wei believes badminton should start in 2021 ©Getty Images

Former world number one Lee Chong Wei has asked the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to scrap all its international tournaments still scheduled to take place this year.

The Malaysian's call would include the scrapping of the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus in Denmark - due to take place from October 3 to 11 - as well as the Malaysia Open, scheduled for November.

With no Olympic qualifying points being on offer in 2020, Lee thinks that competitive badminton should return in 2021.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics have been pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has put heavy social and travel restrictions on nations worldwide.

To date, there are more than 9.57 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in the deaths of over 486,000 people.

Speaking to Timesport about the potential cancellation of the Malaysia Open, Lee said: "We are living in uncertain times and I know it is not easy to make decisions.

"But as a retired player, I believe my views are unbiased - I know it's important for the BWF to get tournaments running again because television rights generates revenue.

"However, member associations like the Badminton Association of Malaysia will lose money hosting a tournament because they won't make much from ticket sales.

"Having to adhere to strict standard operating procedure would also mean empty stadiums.

"And if that is not enough, we have yet to consider the various travelling policies.

"Malaysia may not have as many COVID-19 cases but what about players from other countries?"

Lee, who is also the nation's Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Games next year pointed out the sports stars who had tested positive for COVID-19 as a warning against resuming activity too soon.

In March, BWF suspended World Tour events and the world rankings and came up with a revised 2020 calendar last month.

More decisions are expected to be made by the BWF at its annual general meeting on July 18.