Badminton Life

BWF Apologies for Uber Cup Scheduling Controversy

The Thomas and Uber Cup competitions have barely started and controversy has already emerged regarding the scheduling.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport's global governing body, came under pressure from hosts Indonesia after their Uber Cup team were scheduled to play the Netherlands and Japan on the same day.

Both teams were considered tough rivals for the Indonesians so the BWF rescheduled it so that Indonesia would only play once on the first day, against Japan.

That did not end the problem, though, because the Dutch became upset because they still had to play twice on the same day.

Other countries are also unhappy with the scheduling and asked the BWF to re-look the timings.

However, with so many possible scheduling conflicts, the best the BWF could do was issue an apology.

Anne Smillie, BWF sport committee chairwoman said: "There has been a misunderstanding between the federation and the organising committee. I apologise to those teams."

Some of the teams were forced to play two matches on the same day because the tournaments had been shortened to eight days from its previous roster of nine days.

A Saturday meeting was held between team managers and team coaches to discuss the scheduling controversy and other issues that cropped up on the agenda.

The Indonesian team had earlier threatened to withdraw from the tournament, which would have been a big blow to organisers.

Indonesia is one of the few places in the world where crowds turn up in droves for badminton, and the loss of the host nation would have left the arena nearly empty.

Park Joo-bong, the Korean coach of the Japanese team was not happy with the BWF's performance and said the governing body should ensure everything was perfect because of the prestigious nature of the Thomas and Uber Cups.

"Like Holland, we only knew about the change of the schedule when we arrived here," Park was quoted as saying in the Malaysian media. "To give the host an advantage, they have changed the schedule and did not inform us earlier. The Dutch team has made an official complaint and we think they were right to do so."

Denmark's team manager Finn Traerup-Hansen echoed Park's sentiments when he said: "All the teams should play one match a day. The hosts or any other team should not be given the advantage. Everyone should be treated equally."

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