Badminton finds itself embroiled in a new controversy less than a year to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
It is learnt two Malaysian shuttlers have been called in by the BA of Malaysia (BAM) and Badminton World Federation (BWF) to assist in investigations into betting on football matches that resulted in them “owing large sums of money”.
The players had borrowed from loan sharks to pay off their debts and have had trouble repaying their loans which now run into “hundreds of thousands of ringgit”.
While certain quarters had red-flagged the episode, it is understood neither of the two national players is suspected of trying to fix badminton matches.
BAM officials refused to comment on the new allegations but Twentytwo13 was informed that the players were being “interviewed to assist in the investigation” and “were not under investigation”.
BWF issued a statement saying: “BWF does not comment on operational aspects of the day to day work of the Integrity Unit including investigations.”
However, it is learnt BWF decided to interview the players after the duo were called up by BAM when talk of their debts came to light.
The shocking revelation comes two weeks after the world badminton body confirmed the Court of Arbitration for Sports upheld BWF Ethics Hearing’s decision to ban Malaysians Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang for breaching its ‘Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting, Wagering and Irregular Match Results’.
Zulfadli was originally handed a 20-year suspension and fined US$25,000 while Tan was given a 15-year ban and a US$15,000 fine after they were found guilty of “actual and attempted match- and point-fixing” which was “for the purposes of betting”. Both Zulfadli and Tan had denied the charges,
Football betting is illegal in Malaysia. In July last year, nearly 600 bookies were arrested and some RM420,000 worth of bets seized in connection with betting on 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia