Badminton: Butler has to work for win

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The Independent Online
AN ENGLAND protest helped land Steve Butler in difficulties at the European Championships here yesterday, writes James Leigh from 's Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

England's longest-lasting singles player needed all his experience to survive 13-18, 15-5, 15-10 in the first round against the Swede, Henrik Bengtsson, but, had the European Badminton Union redrawn the men's singles as expected, the two would never have met. Both would probably have been seeded had the EBU had its way.

The absences through injury of the top-seeded Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen and the former European champion from Essex, Darren Hall, left the top half lopsided. The English and the Dutch protested, however, claiming there was nothing in the rules to allow a redraw. 'I was not consulted about the protest,' Butler said.