PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) believe shuttlers Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang have been dealt a fair and reasonable punishment for their involvement in match-fixing.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF)’s Ethics Hearing Panel slapped Zulfadli with a 20-year suspension from all badminton activities while Chun Seang was banned for 15 years for match-fixing offences between 2013 and 2016. They were also hit with a US$25,000 (RM98,000) and US$15,000 (RM59,000) fine respectively.
Although shocked and sad that Malaysian shuttlers have been found guilty, BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (pic) was unsympathetic towards the players over the punishment meted out.
“It’s sad that a sport that is so close to our hearts is tainted by match-fixing,” said Norza.
“But in terms of punishment, the decision is fair and well-deserved. I believe the BWF have been reasonable enough and appropriate in their sentencing as they could have handed out life bans.
“I want this to serve as a warning to all players. They have to alert the authorities if they are ever approached by bookies.
“That is one of the reasons why we have set up the whistle-blower policy because we are committed to eradicating the manipulation of badminton matches.”
Norza wants all players to be on exemplary behaviour.
“They are ambassadors for the country when they are overseas, so they need to be on their best behaviour. That’s what a high performance centre like ours is meant to do.
“If players see badminton as a platform to make money, then maybe it’s not the sport for them. The challenge for us now is to guide our players to ensure they behave overseas. In Zulfadli and Chun Seang’s case, most of the transactions were made overseas.”
Norza added that they have forwarded the BWF’s report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“BWF’s report was 65 pages long. I’ve forwarded everything to MACC,” he said.
“Zulfadli and Chun Seang have 21 days from today to appeal their cases. We can try and assist in whatever capacity we can,” he added.
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