Badminton Life

Controversy at The Uber Cup

The Thomas and Uber Cups are all set to start this weekend and controversy has already reared its ugly head.

Many tournaments have been dogged this year with suggestions that certain teams have been fixing matches to ensure their best players pick up qualification points but this time it has nothing to do with the players themselves. In any tournament, a lot of work has to go into the scheduling of matches and ensuring that no team benefits over the others.

The Dutch team participating in the Uber Cup are clearly unhappy with the schedule that they have been handed and they plan to make a protest regarding it. It can be clearly be seen as being unfair that the Dutch female players are being asked to play twice on the same day.

If this was being asked of other teams then it would be seen as an even handed decision but as there is not, it is easy to see why the Dutch are unhappy. In fact, the teams head coach, Martiin van Dooremalen went so far as to say that it was a ridiculous decision.

More controversy around this decision came from the fact than an Indonesian official stated their team were originally told they would play twice on the same day. This original schedule was altered by the Badminton World Federation after the Indonesians threatened to boycott the tournament. Perhaps the Badminton World Federation is keener to have Indonesia in the tournament than the Dutch but it is extremely unfair that one nation can call the shots which lead to another teams suffering.

Most of the controversy in the sport this year has seen Asian teams benefit and perhaps the Badminton World Federation need to look at their integrity to ensure that each nation gets a fair opportunity. As of yet, the organizers of the tournament have yet to release any comment about this situation.

Indonesia have not won the Uber Cup since 1996 and obviously playing two matches against Japan and Holland in the same day would have been detrimental to their hopes. Obviously as the host nation there will be a massive demand for their matches and this includes TV coverage.

No doubt part of the reasoning offered why their matches were separated was to allow broadcasters to get a better spread of matches that their consumers would want to watch. TV scheduling long took over the running of sport but it is extremely unfortunate that these decisions are being made to favour certain nations over others.

China remains the favourite for the tournament and have won the trophy the most times of all the countries. China have won it ten times with Japan winning it the nearest times with 5 victories. Indonesia and the United States of America have both won it three times and it is likely that a previous winner will add to their title victories in this campaign.

No matter who wins the event it is unfortunate that the tournament has been overshadowed by the controversy has started before the first match has started.

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