Thailand, Chinese Taipei and China will not play at the upcoming Badminton Asia Team Championships ©Getty Images

Thailand, Chinese Taipei and China will not be playing at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Malaysia due to COVID-19.

Despite coronavirus cases rising in Malaysia, Badminton Asia remain eager to host the event in Shah Alam from February 15 to 20.

Thailand and Chinese Taipei were not willing to send their players over fears for their safety, while China announced that it would not be taking part because of its own strict lockdown measures.

The tournament will act as a qualifying event for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in May, with the top four teams from both the men's and women's sides progressing.

Thailand's withdrawal in particular places doubt over the Thomas and Uber Cup finals - set to be hosted by Thailand in May.

Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Kazakhstan and the hosts are still scheduled to play in the Badminton Asia Team Championships.

All games are due to be played at the Setia City Convention Centre in the Selangor capital.

It is set to be the first major international sporting event held in Malaysia since it closed its borders in March 2020 as part of the Government's Movement Control Order, imposed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Indonesia will be looking to win a fourth men's title.

The 2016, 2018 and 2020 triumphs make it the most successful nation in the men's competition.

Reigning women's champions Japan's have won two titles in a row.