Emms: Disqualify the four women's pairs
Former British badminton star Gail Emms has called for the four women's pairs who apparently tried to throw matches to be disqualified from the Olympics.
She also claimed the referee had been warned before the matches that something "dodgy" could happen, but the concerns were dismissed. In scenes of farce at Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening, a pair from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia seemed to want to lose in an attempt to manipulate the draw.
But Emms, who won Olympic silver with Nathan Robertson in the mixed doubles in Athens in 2004, told BBC Radio Five Live: "This is the Olympic Games, if badminton wants to save face I personally feel they should disqualify the four pairs and re-instate the pairs who came third and fourth in the group and then have a better competition."
The Badminton World Federation confirmed that all four pairs would face charges of "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
A hearing will be held later on Wednesday morning with a decision due to be announced in due course.
Emms added: "You cannot do this in an Olympic Games, this is something that is not acceptable and it just makes not only our sport but the organisers and the poor crowd who had to watch, who pay good money to watch two matches....it was just disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful. I would disqualify them."
All four pairs had already qualified for the last eight meaning the only issues at stake were the final placings in the first-round group stage. The fiasco began when Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang started to show little interest in beating Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na to finish top of Group A.
Coming second would have meant avoiding compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei at least until the final. The Koreans responded to China's antics by copying them and referee Thorsten Berg emerged to warn all the players before the match restarted and the Koreans went on to win 21-14 21-11.
The matter did not end there as a second Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, then attempted to engineer defeat in their match against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. Their motive was apparent retaliation to avoid Wang and Yu in the quarter-finals, an outcome they failed to achieve as they eventually won 18-21 21-14 21-12.
The Indonesians were not bystanders in the affair either as they responded to the Koreans by trying to lose themselves.
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