KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Liew Daren (pic) says it’s wrong to assume that all independent shuttlers are involved in match-fixing.
Two independent shuttlers Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang attended a Badminton World Federation (BWF) hearing in Singapore yesterday following their suspension over match-fixing.
Former world junior champion Zulfadli and Thomas Cupper Chun Seang were represented by their lawyers yesterday at the Hotel Jen Tanglin in Orchard Road and the hearing will continue today.
The 30-year-old Daren has been playing under the banner of Air Asia since leaving the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in 2016.
“It’s not fair to brand all independent shuttlers as the ones interested in making money,” said Daren.
“We play because we like the game and it’s a profession. If there are good results, we get to earn good money. It’s all in our hands.”
Daren said he was shocked that Zulfadli and Chun Seang had been suspended by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for match-fixing.
“I do hope that they will get a fair hearing. The number of independent shuttlers is small and we are friends,” said Daren.
“We’ve known each other for some time and I do hope that the outcome will be favourable to them.
“This is an opportunity for them to clear their names if they’re not involved.”
Meanwhile, top seed Daren has withdrawn from the Celcom Axiata National Championships after injuring his right foot.
“I hurt myself during the Malaysian Masters and I have not recovered since.
“I will skip the national meet and get ready for the China Masters in Lingshui from April 10-15.
Daren did well to reach the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters and Thailand Masters last month.
The national meet started yesterday at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara with the qualifying round.
The tournament proper is tomorrow and in the absence of Daren, the favourite for the men’s singles title is second seed and former international Chong Wei Feng.
The BAM shuttlers in the fray are Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Soong Joo Ven, Soo Teck Zhi, two-time national champion Lim Chi Wing and Leong Jun Hao.
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