KUALA LUMPUR: Denmark have dropped five key players for next month’s Sudirman Cup due to a sponsorship dispute.
Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (men’s doubles), Camilla Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (women’s doubles) and Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Pedersen (mixed doubles) will not be on the plane to Dongguan, China, from May 10-17.
The dispute started when the Denmark BA secured a new sponsorship deal with cookie manufacturer Danisa. The five players, on the other hand, are sponsored by Kjeldsen, also a cookie manufacturer.
When the five were told to use the emblem of the national team’s sponsor for major tournaments, they refused to adhere and were eventually dropped.
Now, the five may also miss the World Championships in Jakarta in August and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.
World No. 2 Boe-Morgensen, world No. 5 Pedersen-Juhl and world No. 2 Nielsen-Pedersen have been regular medal contributors for Denmark in major tournaments for almost a decade.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost said Denmark would field a team of youngsters in the Sudirman Cup due to the controversy, thus making them one of the weakest teams.
Frost added that the incident was a lesson for all the other nations in world badminton.
“I guess every national side have their own set of problems. It is just unfortunate that Denmark have been embroiled in such controversy,” said the Dane.
“Both the Denmark BA and the players were in talks about this issue, but they could not resolve it. The national body had no choice but to drop the players based on principles.
“The national BAs and players have to be clear on the sponsorship deals. I am glad that in Malaysia, the BAM have spelt the sponsorship regulations clearly to the players.
“Independent players playing in major tournaments have to abide by the rules governing the national team. They have to use the equipment and the attire by the national team’s sponsor. There cannot be any conflict of interest. If not, everyone will lose out in the end.”
On Malaysia’s team list for the Sudirman Cup, Frost said: “We are still waiting for a verdict on (Lee) Chong Wei over his doping case. We heard that it will be announced soon. Whatever the outcome, I will release the names for the Sudirman Cup on Monday (tomorrow).”