Gail Emms: The WBF should have acted immediately last night and disqualified these players on the spot

 

It was the boos and screams from the spectators, a sound you don't hear often in badminton, which first alerted me to the fact that something was going badly wrong at Wembley Arena.

When I went to look at what was causing the unhappiness at the women's doubles match featuring Chinese top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na I could barely believe my eyes.

What followed when South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung played Indonesian pair Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii only deepened my outrage.

All eight players were playing to lose. And doing so blatantly. There was serving into the net, then missed shots, over-hit shots and a distinct lack of effort. My two-and-a-half-year-old could have beaten any of those pairs last night.

Fingers have been pointed at the Chinese pair on the suspicion that they did not want to meet their compatriots in the first knock out round. A bit like a playground fight, I don't know who started it and it doesn't matter - they were all to blame.

The spectacle we saw last night is damaging to badminton and I can only apologise to the people who paid good money to watch it. They will feel rightly cheated.

Equally to blame in all this are the organisers, the team managers and the coaches. In a way, the players themselves are acting instinctively - doing what it takes to win a gold medal.

But the World Badminton Federation (WBF) should never have allowed the round robin format to replace the knock out tournament that has always been used in previous Olympics and the coaches should never have allowed their players to perform as they did last night.

There was always going to be a risk of match throwing with the new group stage format and I know this risk was raised with officials prior to Tuesday's matches. The referee just laughed.

The WBF should have acted immediately last night and disqualified these players on the spot. Instead we had the farcical situation of the South Koreans and the Indonesians being shown the black disqualification card and it then being withdraw.

The world body has been made to look indecisive because of that. I am pleased that they have now done what they should have done by disqualifying all eight.

It would have been intolerable for spectators attending last night's quarter finals to know they were watching cheats.

Gail Emms, British badminton Olympic silver medallist in 2004.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
filmEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering