Gail Emms: The WBF should have acted immediately last night and disqualified these players on the spot
Wednesday 01 August 2012
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.
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader