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BADMINTON

Danes allege badminton match-fixing offer

Badminton officials have asked the Malaysian police to investigate what the Badminton World Federation president called one of the most serious cases of match fixing in recent history.

Danes allege badminton match-fixing offer
Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus says he was offered money to lose matches at the Japan Open. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/Scanpix
Badminton's governing body has asked police to investigate claims by the world number nine and another Danish player that they were approached to throw matches.
 
Badminton World Federation (BWF) president Poul-Erik Hoyer told DR that the case was the "biggest" he could remember.
 
Singles player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who ranks ninth, and doubles player Kim Astrup told the broadcaster that they received offers to their Facebook accounts by a Malaysian man who said he had previously fixed matches in the Singapore Open and the Thomas Cup.
 
"It's against everything I stand for as a badminton player. I was never in doubt that the [Badminton World] Federation should be notified immediately, and today I'm happy that we had him reported," Vittinghus said.
 
Astrup, who said he was offered between 2,500 and 3,000 euros ($3,200 and $3,800) in addition to being able to bet on his own game, added he was "not surprised" match-fixing took place in badminton.
 
"But I am surprised that it is taking place at the highest level. Occasionally one sees results that seem unbelievable, but here there's real evidence that match fixing takes place," he said.
 
The Malaysia-based BWF has given no details on the match-fixing offer, but it said in a statement on Monday that it had reported the alleged offer to the police and "has been cooperating fully in an ongoing investigation into these matters".
 
"BWF is very satisfied that the players who were contacted about the match-fixing offer completely rejected it and also reported the case through the BWF 'whistle blower' system that has been set up precisely to handle such incidents," Hoyer said in the statement, adding the BWF took "all reports of match-fixing allegations absolutely seriously".
 
A BWF official declined further comment on Wednesday. Malaysian police did not return a request for comment.
 
Hoyer, who took the helm of BWF last year, has pledged to come down hard on match-fixing in the wake of the 2012 Olympic scandal, when eight women's doubles players were disqualified for trying to lose group games to gain an easier quarter-final draw.

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MATCH-FIXING

Denmark makes racket over ‘match-fixing’ Chinese badminton players

The national association for badminton in Denmark says the sport’s world federation should punish Chinese players for a match at last week’s Fuzhou China Open which has been described as a “farce”.

Denmark makes racket over 'match-fixing' Chinese badminton players
China's Junhui Li, left, and Yuchen Liu, seen here during a different match, lost in the controversial quarter-final in Fuzhou. AP Photo/Aaron Favila/Ritzau Scanpix

Bo Jensen, director of Badminton Denmark, wants the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to take action after seeing footage of a quarter final match in which He Jiting and Ta Qiang defeated Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in three sets.

“I am giving my support to the criticism. This is cheating, it’s match-fixing and we can’t accept it,” Jensen said to TV2 Sport.

“In our context, this is just as bad as doping, and it must be punished because if it is not, we will damage the sport’s reputation amongst fans and the many sponsors that are making huge investments at the moment,” he added.

Several Danish badminton players are reported to have been present during the match. Doubles pair Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads Conrad-Petersen lodged a complaint with tournament organisers following the match about the way it had been played.

Another player, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, later posted an update on Facebook in which he compared the match to a scandal during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, when eight players from China, South Korea and Indonesia were disqualified for deliberately trying to lose.

“This was a complete farce of a match which made me think of the London Olympics when 4 pairs deliberately tried to lose their matches. I kid you not, it was this bad,” Vittinghus wrote, citing errors in play that “just (don’t) happen at this level”.

“Difficult to get hard evidence, but if you have watched a bare minimum of world class badminton, you’d know what just happened,” he also wrote.

The BWF told TV2 Sport that it would not comment on the issue prior to receiving a report from the tournament’s organisers.

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