Wilson Swiss Open 2008

A former doubles world champion has called on badminton chiefs to take corruption in the sport more seriously, a report said Tuesday, after two top Danish players revealed they were approached to fix matches. 

Indonesian player Rexy Mainaky, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1996, said it was clear the sport wasn’t safe from match-fixing and it was vital the Badminton World Federation be more vigilant.

“We have easy access to follow matches online or via live streaming, unlike in my era,” Mainaky, now the head of athlete development and achievement at the Indonesian Badminton Association, was cited as saying in the Jakarta Post newspaper on Tuesday.

“Therefore, the (BWF) should take this matter more seriously.”

World number 11 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, one of the Danes approached to fix matches, recently told AFP it would be naive to think that all badminton matches were clean, warning “no tournament is safe” from corruption.

He revealed last year that he was approached via Facebook at the Japan Open by a man he had met at previous tournaments, who claimed to have fixed matches at last year’s Singapore Open and Thomas Cup.

Vittinghus’s fellow Dane and doubles specialist Kim Astrup was also offered 2,500 to 3,000 euros (US$2,650-3,175) to throw matches, as well as the chance to bet on the outcomes.

Both players declined and reported the incident to the BWF, which handed it over to the police for investigation. 

Mainaky said match fixing was rare in badminton but the sport wasn’t immune to misconduct, including teams throwing matches when playing opponents from their own country. – Agence France-Presse

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