Thu, August 02, 2012
Sports > Badminton > 2012 London Olympic Games

China head coach apologizes for badminton farce

2012-08-01 20:26:15 GMT2012-08-02 04:26:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

An official (2nd L) speaks to players from China and South Korea during their women's doubles group play stage Group A badminton match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena, July 31, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese badminton head coach Li Yongbo apologized on Wednesday for a badminton scandal in which two of his players were disqualified for throwing a match.

"As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology," said Li. "Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team."

"It's me to blame," he added.

The Badminton World Federation kicked out eight women's doubles players for trying to throw Tuesday's matches to have an easier draw in next round.

Top seeds and world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang from China were among the four pairs expelled. The other disqualified players were Jung Kyun-Eun, Kim Ha-Na, Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung, all of South Korea, and Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii from Indonesia.

"Chinese delegation fully respect WBF's decisions," said the Chinese Olympic delegation said in a statement.

"The behavior of Yu Yang and Wang Xiao violated the principles of the Olympic Movement and went against the spirit of fair play," the statement added.

The eight players were charged with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."

The International Olympic Committee was quick to praise the world badminton body's decision.

"We applaud the federation for having taken swift and decisive action," said IOC communications manager Emmanuelle Moreau. "Such behavior is not compatible with the Olympic values."

On Tuesday, the Chinese duo of Wang and Yu and their South Korean rivals Jung and Kim were jeered and booed by the crowd and warned by the referee after the two teams served directly into the net or struck easy shots long or wide.

The Chinese women eventually lost 21-14, 21-11 and avoided an early clash with their compatriots.

The farce was repeated in the next game between South Korea's Ha and Kim and Indonesia's Jauhari and Polii. Both teams were also warned for deliberately trying to lose.

London Olympic chief organizer Sebastian Coe described the badminton misconduct "depressing", saying "who wants to sit through something like that."

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Wednesday morning that the incidents were "not acceptable".

Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat, 2004 Olympic gold medalist, called Tuesday's matches "a circus".

Related:

8 badminton players disqualified from Olympic doubles

IOC applauds BWF's decision on expelling 8 players

IOC: Badminton incidents "not acceptable"

China launches probe into dubious badminton loss

S. Korean coaches blast at Chinese badminton players' dubious loss

Wierd loss of Chinese shuttlers Yu/Wang booed by crowd

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