KUALA LUMPUR: Lady luck may not be on the side of two professional Malaysian badminton players suspected of match-fixing.
After the two day hearing carried out by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) concluded in Singapore yesterday, attention will now be on the three man independent panel appointed by Badminton’s world governing body.
Even though the players identities were not revealed, it is understood that the three panelist are all lawyers from three different continents, namely Asia, Europe and Australasia.
According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, at present the situation does not favour both the players involved and it is understood that BWF managed to present strong evidence against the two, enough for the panel to mete out punishment.
“First of all, when BWF decided to conduct a hearing and appoint a three man independent panel to preside over the hearing, they actually already had 75 per cent evidence to charge the two players.
“Secondly, based on the evidence presented during the hearing and the testimonies of witnesses, things do not look good for the two players,” said the source.
Both players face six charges of match-fixing during six different championships between 2013 to 2016 following reports made by another player to the BWF.
It is understood that four witnesses came forward to give their testimonies, three of whom are players with the other being a sports investigator hired by BWF to carry out investigations pertaining to the case.
Even though BWF did not reveal the names of the two players accused of match-fixing, 2011 World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli and for 2010 Thomas Cup squad player Tan Chun Seang were seen attending the two day hearing.
Efforts to illicit comments from both players with regards to their presence at the hearing proved futile when they avoided speaking to the media.
Speaking further, the source believes that BWF will release an official statement on the outcome of the hearing within three weeks as soon as the complete report is finalised by the panel.
“This is the first case concerning match-fixing handled by BWF. I believe they will hand out the maximum sentence because they want to be firm and send out a warning that such activities will not be tolerated nor allowed to spread or fester,” said the source.
Based on BWF rules and regulations, any player found to be guilty of match-fixing can be punished with a life ban from taking part in any badminton activities.