Thursday, October 16, 2014

I've never been courted, says Chong Wei



PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei admitted that he has heard talks of match fixing in badminton – but insisted that no one has approached him in all his years of playing the game.

“I have never been approached. I guess no one dared to approach the world No. 1 player on this. Anyway, I do not resort to such things,” said Chong Wei on Wednesday.

“Money may be offered in all this but, to me, money is not important, the result is more important.”

On Monday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) stated that they had made a police report over allegation on match fixing by two players via their betting whistle-blower system.

A website, www.badzine.net, named the two players as Denmark’s men singles shuttler Hans Kristian Vittinghus and doubles shuttler Kim Astrup Sorensen.

The duo alleged that a Malaysian man wanted them to manipulate their matches during the Japan Open in June.

The matter is currently being investigated by the Malaysian police.

Chong Wei hopes that the police would be able to nail the culprits quickly and restore the image of badminton.

“I hope the police will get to the bottom of this. News like this do no good to the profile of badminton.”

Chong Wei also pointed out that some players had been accused of fixing matches or involved in betting although they worked really hard and played true to their abilities.

“How many times have we heard about such things whenever a player loses in a tournament ... it is easy and convenient for others to say that he or she sold the match. As a player, we cannot stop others from talking about it,” said Chong Wei.

“So, it is best that we work together to eradicate this match-fixing and betting issues for good. Then, no one will use this as an excuse when a player loses.

Three-time All-England champion Chong Wei was also disappointed to learn of a Malaysian’s involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

“It is sad that a Malaysian may be involved in this. In the past, I heard that match-fixing in badminton wasn’t so big because there was no market for it. I guess people are getting bolder now ... but this must be stopped,” said Chong Wei, who is on a short break from international tournaments.

He has skipped the ongoing Denmark Open and will give next week’s French Open a miss as well in a bid to recover from the disappointments of losing to Chen Long of China in the final of the World Championships in Copenhagen in August and to Lin Dan of China in the final of the Asian Games in Incheon last month.


by Rajes Paul - The Star

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