ODENSE: Badminton World Federation (BWF) president Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen believes that the sport’s governing body has to be more wary of gamesmanship in tournaments.
The former Olympic champion who is present at the Denmark Open believes the main challenge is to determine whether the act of players withdrawing from matches is genuine.
China are regarded as the main culprits in manipulating tournament draws in this regard. And during the quarter-finals of the Danish meet, they did it once again.
Women’s singles world No.1 Li Xuerui conceded a walkover to teammate Wang Shixian while top women’s pair Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang did likewise to unseeded compatriots Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua.
The move is seen to benefit world No.7 Shixian, who is only 10th in the Super Series rankings, as she needs to earn more points in order to qualify for the Super Series Finals in December.
Shixian was eventually beaten by South Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun in the semi-finals.
“We have a responsibility to take care of our players and if they present their case with a doctor’s letter, a BWF doctor, we have no choice but to accept,” said Larsen.
“We try not to be open to manipulation and we are reviewing the cases and we could take action if it is too blatant.
“But we really have to be dead sure before doing so or else it will backfire on us.”
Meanwhile, Larsen added that the video review format for badminton is still very much in the process and should be incorporated in the next five months.
“I was at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Buenos Aires back in September and I saw squash’s bid. They have an excellent video review system and it shows that they are making progress, and that is what I want too,” said Larsen.
“To have a ‘Hawkeye’ system is good and personally I’m really pushing for it but I do not want it to jeopardize the quality of badminton tournaments either.
“To have a video review system, we need a lot of high definition cameras and it’s not so easy to implement without further reviews and input.
“Basically we have to look at the consistency of the product that we are pursuing and whether is it the suitable one.
“But it will be incorporated eventually and the next five months we will have testings for it before bringing it into our major tournaments next year,” added Larsen.