PBSI: Match-fixing a serious problem

AFP reported earlier that players Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup were approached by a Malaysian they had met previously man via Facebook. He claimed to have been involved in fixing during last year's Singapore Open and Thomas Cup, two of the biggest events on the badminton calendar.

Badminton has seldom been implicated in scandals of that kind, but according to PBSI's head of athlete development and achievement Rexy Mainaky, it was inevitable that attempts at fixing would take place in the age of effortless communication across the world.

"We have easy access to follow matches online or via live streaming, unlike in my era. Therefore, the World Badminton Federation [BWF] should take this matter more seriously," Mainaky told The Jakarta Post.

"Match-fixing exists in every sport. Fortunately in badminton it is rarely found except when Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup openly reported a match-fixing attempt last year. It shows that that badminton is not ‘safe' from match-fixing practices."

Rexy added that he is fully aware of another kind of match-fixing that regularly takes place. Here, a player or a doubles pair will throw a match against opponents from the same country in order to boost their rankings.

The Chinese players have regularly been accused of this and the most recent incident is believed to have occurred during last week's Singapore Open mixed doubles final.

In this match, Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong withdrew from the match against Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei due to injuries, but various reports suggested the claimed injuries weren't sufficient enough to warrant withdrawal.

"Who would believe they suddenly injured themselves in the finals?" Rexy said.

Previously China's head coach Li Yongbo admitted publically that the outcome of the 2004 Athens Olympics women's singles semi-final between Zhou Mi and Zhang Ning was decided before the match.

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