UK & World News
Coe Wades Into Badminton Match-Throwing Row
An apparent attempt by four women's doubles pairs to throw Olympic badminton matches is "depressing" and "unacceptable", Lord Coe has said.
In farcical scenes at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night, a pair from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia appeared to be deliberately trying to lose.
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has condemned their tactics, but Locog said it would not refund tickets for the matches.
Asked about his own feelings regarding the play, Lord Coe said: "Depressing. Who wants to sit through something like that."
Spectators booed as the female players served into the net, hit shots long or wide, and employed time-wasting tactics as they appeared to try to engineer themselves a favourable draw in the next round of the competition.
All four pairs had already qualified for the last eight but top spots were still to be settled.
Spectators reacted angrily to players' refusal to play. One wrote on Twitter: "Didn't expect to be booing teams tonight. China and Korea women's doubles teams are a disgrace."
Several hours after the events on court, the Badminton World Federation charged the four pairs with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
A disciplinary hearing is scheduled to be held today. The pairs are currently all included in the order of play and are due to contest their quarter-finals this evening.
The fiasco began when Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang started to show little interest in beating Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na to finish top of Group A.
This would mean avoiding compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei at least until the final.
The Koreans responded by copying China and referee Thorsten Berg emerged to warn all the players. The match restarted and the Koreans went on to win 21-14 21-11.
But that was not the end of the matter as a second Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, then attempted to throw their match against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
Their motive was apparently an attempt to avoid Wang and Yu in the quarter-finals, an outcome they failed to achieve as they eventually won 18-21 21-14 21-12. The Indonesians in turn had also tried to lose the game.
Berg intervened and disqualified the players in the second game, prompting a roar of approval from the angry crowd, but quickly reversed his decision.
Britain's Gail Emms, who was an Olympic silver medallist in 2004, said the scenes were a "disgrace".
"We had four pairs on court trying to lose - very un-Olympic spirit," she said. "I'm furious. It is very embarrassing for our sport."
However, China's Yu claimed the tactics had simply been to preserve energy ahead of the knockout phase on Wednesday.
"Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds," she said.
what do you think?
And they are bleating that we aren't spending money filling seats to watch this kind of display ! They should ban the teams for unsporting conduct. Reimburse the spectators and give the opportunity to other countries to go through and win.
It's an easy one . Just disqualify the teams involved. Oh, but they did, and then reversed it. Sounds like pressure from certain quarters. What a farce this games is turning in to.
aa aa. International sports organisations never did have any backbone. If they cant ban drug users for life how can they handle a little issue like cheating
What a stupid system that can allow these sort of tactics to over ride true competition! Anyway.....disqualify all 4 sides.
What is the difference between this and "team orders" in other sports such as motor racing? In other words cases where one player does less than their best so that a team mate does not lose a ranking. In effect people are complaining that the teams in question were adopting a strategy that took account of the Games overall not just the match in hand.
A very valid point Malcolm. But it does leave a nasty taste in the mouth that it has come to this
I agree, Dave. I cannot be bothered to watch the games because they seem to have lost something. What is the word? Sportsmanship, perhaps?
Malcolm. I think you could say that about so many sports today. Winning at all costs seems to be the doctrine these days regardless of the way its done
Ban the teams from the rest of the olympics and the next one in 2016. Make it a warning to the other sports as well
Simple make an example of them and kick them all out of the competition and reinstate the teams bellow them. The IOC is eager to catch drugs cheats they should also take a firm stance on competitors throwing their matches
Chris. That makes far better sense than blaming the organisers of the event.
Yet another example of how well organised these Olympics are.........what say you Mr Coe ???
Its not Mr Coe's fault teams cheat and the IOC bottle even a simple decision to disqualify teams involved.
Twaddle Gordon. How can a team playing tactically have anything to do with the organisation of the event.
What do you expect? The 'Olympics' hasn't been about 'sport' for decades ... it's all about MONEY ... and what is (the pursuit of ) the root of all evil? Hence the use of drugs etc. 'Olympic Ideal'? No; gimme the money!
Dave. Sad but true. It is all about how much you can make in advertising and endorsing products as the olympic champion.
You are so right Dave... this isnt sport any more. Why are they called "stars"... I thought they were badington players. Says it all
is a disgrace ,them rying to lose ,if i was fooball they would be fined and loss of points ,Also ,why have he matches arranged ,why not chuck them into a bag and make a draw.
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Probably the only time in months that any agreed with Coe. Someone wrote on an other channel that he will be de-Lorded shortly. Is there such a thing?
He could resign his peerage, but I don't think it can be taken from him.
I doubt if he can lose the title, but just how silly is this country. With Lords ,and Knights and Dames.Isn't it about time all this was dumped from a great height, it really is daft.
The king of the fiasco's haass waded in. It is a bit rich for Lord Coe to say anything. People in glass houses should not be throwing stones. Instead of calling it the Olympic Games it should be called the Contrivesal Games. What a disaster this has become and the resxt of the world look on. What a joke we have become in the world
He's trying to get credibility back for the ticket fiasco because it is him through his business contacts who has allocated tickets to the corporates. No doubt that most of the corporate allocation is politically biased.