India's Badminton Protest Rejected in London
India's appeal against the result of a group B match between Japan and Chinese Taipei in the women's doubles badminton competition, which they alleged was not played in the right spirit and resulted in the elimination of the Indian pair, was turned down here today.
Badminton Association Of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta today said that their formal protest was rejected because of lack of evidence.
"On behalf of BAI we had lodged a protest saying that the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei was also fixed and Japan deliberately lost that match just to have a better draw in the next round, resulting in India not getting a chance to qualify for the next round," Das Gupta said.
"But now, they have already rejected our protest. We are also shocked and surprised. A day before we had beaten Chinese Taipei and they have qualified and we were denied qualification because Japan lost deliberately.
"They said they could not find evidence to charge the players. On the basis of that they rejected the appeal," he added.
India had lodged a formal protest with the Games organisers to probe if the Japan-Chinese Taipei match was played in the right spirit yesterday, following the elimination of medal hopes Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.
"We have formally lodged a complaint asking the organising committee to look at the Japan and Chinese Taipei match to see whether that match was played in the spirit of the sport, which I don't think was the case, and we are awaiting the outcome of that," Gopichand said.
Last night, Jwala and Ashwini missed out on a quarterfinal berth by a difference of just one point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-16 21-15 in their last group B match, after tying with Japan and Taipei on the number of wins.
Prior to India's final group game last night, the World number five Japanese pair of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa had shockingly lost to Chinese Taipei's Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin, ranked 10th, 19-21 11-21.
"The match we are talking about is women's doubles. It is obvious that both teams wanted to lose. Hopefully some action will be taken. System needs a change because, if players had a choice, it would be fair to say that the Chinese teams would not want to meet in the quarters. Neither would Indonesia or Korea want to play China in quarters," Gopichand said.
"So the players are trying to make use of the system in trying to win medals. There is some fairness in what they are thinking. But eventually we need to ensure that the system is foolproof and the players are not allowed to do that (deliberately lose)," he added.
Gopichand also said: "There was a suggestion that all matches are played simultaneously so that players don't get a chance to rig the results with their calculations and everyone plays to win.
"If you look at their (China) record, they have done this many times, they have been doing it for many years now and players and officials know about it," he added.
Jwala and Ashwini finished third in the table with a point difference of 3, while Chinese Taipei (21) and Japan (4) qualified to the quarterfinals from the group.
Taipei, Japan and India won two matches each and lost one but when the differences were calculated taking into account games won and lost and points won and lost, India were pushed to the third spot.
One half of the Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair, Jwala said they were completely heartbroken.
"We are completely heartbroken. We played so well and still we couldn't qualify because someone else is throwing matches. We worked hard for the Olympics and we were shocked to see the result," Jwala told PTI.
"Look at the way the Japanese pair lost to the Chinese Taipei. I don't know what they were thinking but it is very disappointing. Players lose respect for Olympics after such incidents," she added.
Meanwhile, eight badminton players were dramatically disqualified from Olympic competition today for allegedly "throwing" matches.
The Four women's doubles pairs -- one from China, one from Indonesia and two from South Korea --- were barred after being hit by disciplinary charges of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) took action.
Jwala also said that BWF should "take action" against these players who deliberately throw matches.
"It is high time that BWF not only takes up these issues but also take some action against these players. There are youtube video available in the internet, they should probe it properly," she said.
"We are deeply affected but still we are hoping that some action will be taken," she added.
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