LONDON (Reuters) - The World Badminton Federation (BWF) on Wednesday threw out a protest by India, who accused the Japanese women’s doubles team of throwing a match against Taiwan at the London Olympics.
Japan’s loss to the Taiwanese on Tuesday effectively eliminated India from the competition and Indian coach Pullela Gopichand said the defeat had been planned.
The loss resulted in Japan finishing second in their group, thereby avoiding a Chinese team in the next round.
The Indian protest came on the heels of a scandal that has rocked badminton to its core, with four women’s doubles pairs - one Chinese, one Indonesian and two from South Korea - being disqualified from the Games for throwing matches in order to obtain a more favorable draw.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said there were no grounds to take the Indian complaint against Japan’s Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa any further.
“There has been a complaint and that has been looked into by the referees’ team. There’s been no referees’ report, no umpires’ report whatsoever,” Lund told a news conference.
“No grounds to take that further, so there’s no disciplinary action.”
Gopichand said the Japanese tactic had slipped under the radar because the match was low-profile compared to those involving China, South Korea and Indonesia.
”Just because it’s subtle and the crowd didn’t make a noise, the TV didn’t make a noise, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,“ he added. ”To put it in perspective, the system is first at fault.
“The players will do whatever they can to win a medal, and if losing means a better draw they will do it. But the first blame lies on the system.”
Additional reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Mark Trevelyan