The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has disqualified eight badminton players from the women's doubles event at the London Olympics after being accused of "throwing away matches" for favourable draw in the knockout rounds.
Two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia earned the wrath of the spectators on Tuesday by intentionally playing bad shots to throw away matches, which was not in the spirit of the Games.
The Badminton World Federation decided to disqualify the teams involved in the case after a meeting on Wednesday morning. Indonesia and South Korea have appealed to revoke the decision and the federation is expected to announce the final decision before the quarter finals on Wednesday.
The players who have been disqualified are Chinese pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and two South Korean pairs Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.
Spectators at Wembley Arena jeered Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli of China and Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea on Tuesday night as the teams were trying to lose the match for favourable draw in the quarter finals.
Match referee Thorsten Berg warned the teams for the unsportsmanship. The longest rally in the first game was four shots.
South Korea ended up winning the match 21-14 21-11.
Both the Chinese and Korean teams had qualified for the quarter-finals, which mean the winner of the match would play another Chinese pair Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei. So, both the teams were trying to avoid playing against the team.
As if the farce play between the Chinese and South Korean teams was not embarrassing enough, South Korea's Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung and Indonesian pair Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii got into similar tactics, forcing referee Berg to signal disqualification with a black card though it was withdrawn later.
Both the South Korean and Indonesian teams had also qualified for the quarter finals, with the winner of the match to play Yu and Wang of China.
South Korean coach Sung Han-kook admitted that his teams had attempted to throw away matches after China resorted to farce match to avoid the clash of its teams in the quarter finals.
"The Chinese started this. They did it first," Sung told reporters through an interpreter. "It's a complicated thing with the draws. They didn't want to meet each other in the semi-final. So we did the same. We didn't want to play the South Korean team again (in the knockout)."
However, China's coach Li Yongbo has something different to say. "This is nothing. It was just a game," he told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Yu Yang, who doubles gold at the Beijing Games, claimed that they were trying to save energy for the knockout rounds.
"Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds," she told Reuters. "Really, it's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow."
The BWF had earlier said that it would launch a probe into the allegation of "throwing away matches".
(With Inputs from Reuters)
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