Beijing: China’s current World No. 43 men’s doubles player – Di Zijian, was exposed by his ex-girlfriend for allegedly fixing a match during the 2021 Denmark Open.
His ex-girlfriend published several screenshots of their chats in 2021, one of them showing how Di decided to lose the first set on purpose in his Denmark Open first-round match, and he could earn up to a hundred thousand dollars renminbi for doing that.
The below screenshot shows Di’s conversation with his ex-girlfriend on Oct 18, 2021, which was one day before the Denmark Open first-round match.
Di: “I am ready to lose one set in the first match.”
Di: “I could earn up to 100k plus renminbi.”
Di: “I’ll start playing seriously after that. If I win, I win, but if I lose, I lose.”
Ex-girlfriend: “What do you mean?”
Di: “It means losing the first set on purpose.”
Ex-girlfriend: “So, you’ll going to play three sets?”
Di: “Yes. That means if I win the second set, I’ll need to win the third set as well.”
Di: “But, I’ll lose the first set.”
Di: “I’m unwilling to lose the entire match.”
Ex-girlfriend: “Who’s your opponent?”
Di: “From Indonesia, not bad.”
Despite being unsure if the chat screenshots were real, Di Zhejiang and his partner, Wang Chang did lose to Indonesia’s Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana 6-21, 19-21 in the first round of Denmark Open on Oct 19, 2021. Everything seemed to match up perfectly with what was being discussed in the chat.
One of the screenshots published by his ex showed that Di Zijian who partnered Wang Chang to win the boys’ doubles gold at the 2018 World Junior Championships and 2017, 2018 Asian Junior Championships, badmouthed someone from Zhejiang saying that he didn’t really like to partner with that person because he was too lazy. And coincidentally, Wang was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang.
With the retirement of Li Junhui, Di Zijian/ Wang Chang are being considered a highly talented men’s pair for China, and are progressively becoming men’s doubles stars for the China badminton team.
However, the chat history published by his ex-girlfriend could very well end his career abruptly regardless of whether he was involved in manipulating the result of a badminton match.
In November last year, two players from China were accused of match-fixing. Zhu Junhao was found to deliberately lose the mixed doubles match in the 2019 Orleans Masters. Zhu Junhao/Hua Xiaobei eventually lost to Lim Khim Wah/Lee Zhi Qing of Malaysia 19-21, 21-19, 21-13 in their second qualifying match.
Another Chinese player – Zhang Binrong, also violated the BWF’s Anti-Gambling and Manipulation of Match Results Act in the 2019 international competition, suspected of gambling and violating the integrity of sports. Zhang Binrong was caught of involving in sports betting as many as 36 times during tournaments in China, Switzerland, and France.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) then imposed a two-year ban on Zhang Binrong and Zhu Junhao for involving in illegal acts such as match-fixing, gambling, and game manipulation.