KUALA LUMPUR: If there is one person who has been following the recent match-fixing scandal in Malaysia, it's Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.
This is because in 2014, the Danish men's singles shuttler lodged a complaint with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) when he was approached by a Malaysian to manipulate the outcome of a match.
In an interview with NSTP Sports, Vittinghus revealed how it all happened and why he strongly believes that BWF will get to the bottom of the recent allegations, which involves two Malaysian professional shuttlers.
"I reported the case to BWF via the whistle blower form which is on the official website. This put me in contact with Thomas Lund (BWF secretary general),” said Vittinghus when contacted in Denmark.
“ I then gave a written declaration of what happened with copies of all the conversations with the match fixer, who was a Malaysian (but not a player).
“He was working for a brand, I do not wish to name, but the job gave him access to many events.
"I allowed BWF to take it from there. I know they involved the police but I do not know what happened to the match fixer.
“I only went public with the story six months later, so there was plenty of time for them to finish the investigation.
“I felt BWF took the matter very seriously, but I didn't ask to be kept in the loop, as I wanted to focus on badminton and not criminal cases, although I offered to be available as a witness or any other way that could have helped with the investigation."
On Tuesday, NSTP Sports revealed that a Malaysian independent player is being investigated for allegedly fixing matches.
The BA of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed on the following day that not one, but two independent players were provisionally suspended by BWF last month and barred from competitions until the investigation is completed.
Sports brand Apacs, have also acknowledged that the two players under investigation are sponsored by them.
Apacs, however, did not reveal the names, but those under their sponsorship are 2011 world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Tan Chun Seang, Lim Khim Wah and Nur Azryn Ayub.
Both players, are expected to attend a hearing on Feb 26-27 in Singapore.
If found guilty, they could be banned for life.
"I'm pretty sure I know who the two players are.
"I have been following this case closely. I have a big interest in the whole field of sports, betting and keeping the integrity, so I’ve also given BWF several interviews over the last couple of years to keep them informed about what’s going on. You hear a lot as a player," added Vittinghus.
The World No 19 also expressed his confidence towards BWF, believing they will get to the bottom of this case.
"What I hope right now is that BWF have enough evidence against the two (which a provisional suspension clearly suggests), so that they can give a severe penalty and in that way hopefully make other players think twice before getting involved in this.
"I trust them (BWF) to do whatever they can and allocate all available resources to uphold the integrity of our sport.
“But getting to the bottom of match-fixing is not something I believe is possible. It’s the same as the fight against doping. There will always be dishonest people. “Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it though and I sincerely trust BWF to do so,” the Dane added