Badminton Life

Malaysian Chief Warns Players Against Match-Fixing

The head of Malaysian badminton has warned the nation's players against falling prey to bookmakers after a week in which match-fixing dominated the headlines.

The match-fixing allegations had to do with Malaysia's Super League football competition but Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), is concerned that the disease may spread to the shuttlers.

Malaysian police and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) have detained several players from Super League side Sarawak and Nadzmi said he would have no hesitation in asking for an investigation of badminton should the need arise.

Speaking to local reporters, he said: "Should we suspect any player linked to corruption, we will report them to the Anti-Corruption Agency for further action."

In actual fact, match-fixing is a common occurrence in badminton, though it happens mostly out of patriotism rather than helping illegal bookmakers.

At the recent Asian Badminton Championships, China's world number one Lin Dan allowed his teammate Chen Jin to beat him easily in the semi-finals.

The result enabled Chen to take his place in the Beijing Olympics main draw alongside Lin and Bao Chunlai.

In March, Chinese head coach Li Yongbo admitted that the Chinese team had been involved in "patriotic" match-fixing.

He said the 2004 Athens Olympics women's singles semi-final was fixed so that Zhang Ning would beat compatriot Zhou Mi.

Nadzmi said the football scandal was a lesson for the country's badminton players that they cannot get away with corruption in sport.

"What is happening in football is a timely reminder to badminton players and athletes from other sports. They should stay away from such things," he said.

"If I have any evidence of my players doing it (taking bribes), I will not hesitate to report it to the ACA. So, I hope our players will take heed.
"This match-fixing is a disease among popular sports. Players fall for it because of money. I hope our players will put country first and not succumb to the lure of easy money."
Malaysia's national badminton players are paid by the BAM and clubs, though at international level, they have never displayed outward signs of arranging results in matches.

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