Badminton: Malaysians omit their leading player

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The Independent Online
Rashid Sidek, the Commonwealth champion and world No 1, is a surprise absentee from the World Championships in Glasgow after refusing to play for his country in the team event.

Sidek wanted to only take part in the men's singles next week. He was turned down and when he still refused to play for the team, the Malaysians omitted him from the tournament.

The absence of the player, who won the bronze medal at last year's Olympics and became world No 1 for the first time in February, will deny the tournament of one of the front-runners for the men's singles title.

However, the problem had long been predicted inside Malaysia, whose strict policy was laid down months ago. "We are trying to build up team spirit after a disappointing Thomas Cup last year," the team leader, Mohamed Al-Amin, said.

"We believe we have to treat all the players the same. Our council wants players to play in both team and individual events and anyone who wants to play for Malaysia must follow that."