Badminton is fixed, Dane claims

BWF China Open match clips

Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, the world 11, was allegedly contacted by a man from Malaysia last year and was offered money to rig some of his matches as well as the opportunity to bet on their results.

"Money is growing in badminton, which is a positive thing in many ways," Vittinghus told AFP telephone from Denmark during last week's Singapore Open.

"But of course money also attracts other interest like match-fixing, for example… I am sure (match-fixing) is still going on, I think it will be naive to say that it's not."

The 29-year-old Dane says he was approached via Facebook during the Japan Open by a man he had met previously. 

The unnamed Malaysian claimed to have fixed matches at the 2014 Singapore Open and Thomas Cup, and made offers to Vittinghus and doubles specialist Kim Astrup.

Both players declined and reported the incident to the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Thereafter, the case was handed over to the police for further investigation.

"I think no tournament is safe because of the world we live in with the Internet and the implications it has, so it can happen anywhere and not only in Asia," Vittinghus continued.
 
"I don't feel unsafe or anything because I went public with the story and I have never played in a match where I thought my opponent was fixing or anything."

Another Dane, Mads Conrad-Petersen, said badminton will have its integrity compromised if its authorities didn't focus on combating match-fixing.

"It's just important to have some resources into this (match-fixing issue) so we can get it stopped," Conrad-Petersen said during the Singapore Open.

"It's in every sport, also in football and when there's betting and there's someone who wants to cheat it's important that people focus on (getting rid of) it."

While no details have been made public about the Singapore Open and Thomas Cup fixing claims, BWF boss Poul-Erik Hoyer said that the body "takes all reports of match-fixing allegations absolutely seriously".

"It is especially important that players are aware of the adverse effects of match-fixing and that the only safe route is to reject any approaches from individuals soliciting their involvement in match-fixing."

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