BANGKOK: BA of Malaysia (BAM) honorary secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai revealed that the appeal hearings of disgraced shuttlers Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang could be done via Skype if agreed upon by all three panel members.
Chin Chai, who himself was part of an independent hearing panel back in 2013 (Thailand's Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit for court altercation), said he had discussed the case with other panel members then via Skype.
"I am not confirming that this will be the case, but there is a possibility, we don't know.
"When I was part of the panel that heard the cases of Bodin and Maneepong in 2013, it was via Skype.
"Either way, we will be kept on the loop. We also have the right to send in a representative to observe the hearing process," said Chin Chai, also the team manager for Malaysia’s Thomas Cup team, on Tuesday.
Chin Chai, also confirmed that Zulfadli and Chun Seang — banned 20 and 15 years respectively for match fixing, as well as slapped with fines of US$25,000 (about RM98,000) and US$15,000 (about RM59,000) — had filed their appeals with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) before Monday’s deadline.
Under Clause 15 of the BWF Judicial Procedures, the appeals panel for a particular case shall comprise three members, none of whom were involved in any capacity at any initial Hearing Panel that dealt with the particular case.
One member shall be chosen by the appellant and one member shall be chosen by the council or by the person delegated by the council, no later than 14 days after the receipt of appellant’s appeal by the secretary general.
These two members shall in mutual agreement choose the chair of the appeals panel. Failing agreement between the parties, the chair shall be drawn by lot from the list of arbiters.
On May 2, Zulfadli and Chun Seang were found guilty by a three-man independent Ethics Hearing Panel consisting of James Kitching, Sylvia Schenk and Annabel Pennefather.
The panel that tried the Malaysians in Singapore on Feb 26-27 revealed that Zulfadli and Chun Seang were found to have committed match-fixing in six tournaments: London Open GP Gold (2013), Dutch Open GP (2013), Korea Open GP Gold (2014), Macau Open GP (2014), US Open GP (2014) and Brazil Open GP Gold (2016).
Extracted WhatsApp messages (mainly in Bahasa Malaysia) between the two shuttlers (from Sept 27, 2013, to Dec 12, 2014) were used as the main evidence against them.
The panel found that Chun Seang had committed 26 violations of the 2012 Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting Wagering and Irregular Match Results while Zulfadli committed 27 violations of the 2012 Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting Wagering and Irregular Match Results and four violations of the 2016 Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting Wagering and Irregular Match Results.