KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton World Federation (BWF) have punished two Malaysian players for match-fixing but they are just small fry.
There are calls for the world body to continue with their efforts to get to the root of the problem – by catching the big crooks.
Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang were slapped with 20 and 15-year bans respectively by BWF on Wednesday but who encouraged them, who provided the money and who lured them into the dirty game?
While applauding the world body’s strong stance on match-fixing, former national coach Rashid Sidek hopes the world body will keep their nose to the grindstone.
“Finally, BWF have cracked the whip but they should not stop there. I’ve been in the badminton scene for a long time and we hear things,” said Rashid.
“Chun Seang and Zulfadli are small-time players, they have not really achieved great results. There are bigger tournaments and I’m only inclined to believe that there are bigger stakes at higher-level tournaments.
“There could be players from other countries too ... it’s just that they may not have got caught like our Malaysians.”
Former BAM general manager Lawrence Chew said the BWF should work closely with local authorities.
“BWF have the authority over national federations and players. I wonder if the person who offered them (the players) money is being pursued by police,” said Lawrence.
“It’s like a drug dealer and a drug consumer. It’s more important to get the drug dealer.”
Lawrence pointed out the case involving two Danish players – Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup Sorensen.
The players reported to BWF that a Malaysian non-player had approached them to manipulate matches in 2014. Police reports were made and the matter was investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) but there have not been any conclusion.
“There have been crackdowns in football in many countries. Catching these people will stop the players from being pulled into this trap,” he added.
Former owner of KL Rackets club Datuk Seri Andrew Kam also pointed out: “If there are takers, there are givers too. Who are they? What is done to curb their movements?”
Badminton Asia chief operating officer Kenny Goh hopes BWF’s gung-ho approach to get rid of match-fixing is not a short-term measure.
“There should be constant monitoring at all levels of tournaments. It’s a continuous effort to keep our sport clean,” said Kenny.
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