Taipei: The Chinese Taipei Badminton Association (CTBA) had come under another severe criticism when Taiwan’s Education Minister Pan Wen-chung said that he “felt ashamed” that Tai Tzu Ying had to go through unpleasant experience by wearing oversized clothing during the Badminton Asia Championships, and he had instructed Taiwan’s Sports Administration to place close attention to the CTBA.
The Chinese Taipei Badminton Association (CTBA) also issued a statement late Monday to congratulate Tai for winning the Asia championships and promised to provide Tai with more suitable clothing in the future.
On the surface, Tai’s oversized clothing snafu may seemed like it was a miscommunication between her and CTBA. Behind the scenes, it appeared that this could be a battle between the two largest badminton equipment manufacturers in the world, Yonex and Victor.
Tai was drawn into a “footwear dispute” with Yonex and CTBA when she was threaten with a fine or a one-year ban from representing the nation at international tournaments by breaching a contract with team sponsor Yonex at the Rio Olympics. Tai who was sponsored personally by Victor, which supplied her rackets, shoes and other gear, defended her decision to wear shoes provided by a non-CTBA official sponsor during the Olympic Games.
After public opinion sided with Tai, CTBA had to issue an apology to the media, guaranteeing that Tai would not be punished or suspended, and that the association would consider scrapping its rule that requires players to wear sponsored gear.
The same situation happened during the Badminton Asia Championships, Tai appeared to be very uncomfortable with the “Yonex” branded clothing during the tournament, citing she had to keep adjusting her sleeves and the tightness of the waistband on her shorts.
Some has argued that it’s actually pretty common for Tai to adjust her sleeves during a tournament. The different was, she didn’t express her unhappiness when she was wearing the Victor branded clothing, but she was clearly not happy when she had to wear the Yonex clothing during the Badminton Asia Championships. To be fair, BadmintonPlanet.com has looked at this in detail, and we noticed the shirt she was wearing in the Badminton Asia final was clearly larger than clothes that she wore at other tournaments.
It was reported that CTBA received NT$109.2 million (US$3.48 million) in a sponsorship deal from 2011 to 2014 and a leaked documents indicated that Yonex contracted with the Association for another seven years and paid up to NT$28.6 ($952K USD) million annually.
Whatever the controversy is between Yonex and Victor, BadmintonPlanet.com hopes this type of money games would not destroy a great talent like Tai Tzu Ying.