SINGAPORE: Badminton World Federation (BWF) officials chose to play a hide-and-seek game with the media in a match-fixing hearing today.
After a nine-hour wait, reporters were left disappointed and upset when the BWF officials “ran away”, following the first day of the hearing.
The two Malaysian shuttlers, who were called for the hearing following allegations of match-fixing, also “escaped” with the BWF officials through the kitchen of the Jen Tanglin Hotel kitchen, where the hearing was held.
The hearing ended at about 5pm after two shuttlers appeared before the three-men independent panel appointed by the world body.
BA of Malaysia representative Jadadish Chandra said the BWF had no choice as they had to protect the players, who will have to sit through another day of hearing tomorrow.
"Everyone needs to understand, BWF did not choose to avoid the press on purpose. They only want to protect the two players involved, who will have to return tomorrow for another day of hearing. Furthermore, they were not allowed to make any comments.
"There was also an earlier request from the players to not meet the media," said Jadadish, who is also a BAM rules and disciplinary committee member.
Jadadish, who was allowed to sit in for the hearing as an observer, said the BWF had appointed three individuals from three different countries to form the independent panel.
The two professional players were represented by their lawyers at the hearing.
“Basically what happened today, was that the BWF exposed a set of evidence related to match-fixing activities. Four witnesses were also summoned to give their statements.”
Former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli and ex-Thomas Cupper Tan Chun Seang were also asked by BWF to attend the hearing.