Two independent shuttlers under probe for match fixing

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have revealed that two players are under investigation for match-fixing – but it’s not their players.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) have suspended two Malaysian shuttlers but according to BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, they are independent shuttlers.

It is learnt that one of them used to be a top junior player while the other was a former Thomas Cupper in his 30s.

Norza did not drop any names but admitted that the BAM had been kept in the loop by the world body.

“The BWF have informed us and I can confirm that both are not BAM players,” said Norza after a coaching and training committee meeting.

“But I want to stress again that BAM have a zero tolerance for match-fixing.

“Coaches have been told to warn their players because I don’t want any BAM players to be involved in this.

“Everything is up to BWF right now. We are not privileged to attend the hearing. I don’t want to speculate until we’re clear of what charges the players face or if the players are even guilty.

“If found guilty, this will tarnish the image of Malaysian badminton. It should serve as a warning to all players,” added Norza.

BAM general manager Michelle Chai, who has been in communication with BWF, said they were made aware by the world body last December.

“BWF have done their part by handing out the letters to the involved players through us,” said Michelle.

“There hasn’t been any discussion with BWF and it’s their investigation and all the case details are with them. There are consequences if they are found guilty but we haven’t reached that stage yet.

“We respect confidentiality. We want the players to receive a fair hearing and not a trial by the public.”

Both players, who are provisionally suspended, are expected to attend a hearing by the BWF in Singapore later this month.

If found guilty, they will be banned for life.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) would conduct its own probe on the professional shuttlers under investigation by the BWF for alleged match-fixing.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki said investigations would be carried out as there could be elements of corruption involved.

“We have received initial information on the ongoing BWF investigation, and from what little is known, the individual is not a national player with BAM but an independent player,” said Azam.