BWF under fire over match-throwing scandal

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 2, 2012
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Thomas Lund, chief operating officer of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), was bombarded by reporters at the Wembley Arena Wednesday afternoon after the disqualification of four women's doubles pairs.

"We called the disciplinary committee, reviewed the matches and got statements from umpire and referee," he said when asked why the decision was made after such a long time.

"Players have been given a chance to explain this morning, and we gave sufficient time for the teams to appeal," he said.

The BWF received appeals from the South Korean and Indonesian pairs. But the Indonesians withdrew their challenge later and the appeal from South Korean was rejected.

"We have no pressure from the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," he explained. "The decision was made without external pressure."

"The punishment only concerns women's doubles, no further. No punishment will be given to the coach and member associations," added the official.

The players disqualified include Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang from China, Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polli from Indonisia, as well as Jung Kyung- Eun, Kim Ha-Na, Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung, all from South Korea.

They had been charged under BWF's Players' Code of Conduct. According to sections 4.5 and 4.6 of the code, "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" will not be allowed.

They are replaced by Valeria Sorokina/Nina Vislova from Russia, Michellle Edwards/Annari Viljoen from South Africa, Alex Bruce/Michele Li from Canada and Leanne Choo/Renuga Veeran from Australis.


The press conference was attended by about 100 reporters.

When asked whether the punishment would be too heavy for the players, Lund said, "the last thing we would like to do is to disqualify players. Young players practiced for years so as to get here. It was a difficult decision for the (disciplinary) committee. But we agreed that the outcome was not acceptable."

He said he had been involved in badminton events for quite a long time.

"For many years I didn't see black cards at badminton matches. It was extremely unusual," he said. "The audiences who have watched the matches yesterday would agree to our decision."


London Olympics saw the sport of badminton introduced into the Olympic arena for the sixth time. Previously players went through a series of knock-out competitions before mounting the podium.

A few reporters asked the same question: whether the group play format used in London encouraged game-fixing. Lund responded by saying group play has been proved a "tremendous success".

People played in group play format for many years, Lund noted.

"It gives a tremendous opportunity for more exposure for countries and gives players not only one game but several... It has got good feedback..." he said. "We have played a lot of matches under this format without problems, such as the singles and men's doubles."


He rejected suspicion that badminton might be kicked out of the Olympics.

"This (the two women's double matches) will not affect the future of badminton as an Olympic sport," he said. "We will have fabulous matches in the following days and medals will be distributed."

When asked if spectators can be refunded for substandard performance, Lund replied that the games on Tuesday evening were "generally good".

"We agree that the two matches were not acceptable, but other matches have got good value for money," he said.

He admitted that BWF should take the responsibility to review the group play format.

"This needs to be a thorough review through our committees and council through next month and year up to Rio 2016," he said. Enditem

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