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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BWF Mull Compulsory Participation For Players In Super Series Masters Final (BERNAMA)

JOHOR BAHARU, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- In the wake of big names snubbing the US$500,000 (RM1.75 million) Super Series Masters Final here, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) are taking a deeper look at how to prevent a recurrence in future championships.

The Masters Final, the culmination of the Super Series, has already been hit by the absence of big names from China like Lin Dan, the current Olympic, World and All England champion, women's world number one Wang Yihan, reigning world men's doubles champions Cai Yun- Fu Haifeng since China had decided to send their best shuttlers to the East Asia Games starting in Hong Kong on Dec 5.

Also absent from the list are Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Beijing Olympics gold medal winning pair Hendra Setiawan-Markis Kido from Indonesia, due to their priority for the Laos SEA Games that starts on Dec 9.

It is reliably learnt that the BWF, the world governing body for badminton, are looking at a couple of proposals submitted by their marketing partner, Octagon Asia Ltd, to counter check, if not eradicate, the problem in future.

Among proposals submitted by the Beijing-based company which won the marketing rights a couple of months ago, is to impose hefty fines on those who pulled out, unless on medical grounds.

As things stand, the present BWF ruling on withdrawals is merely a US$250 fine.

"Compulsory participation is the key, otherwise you will be hurt in the pocket. That's basically what the proposal has suggested," said a BWF source.

But the BWF themselves are caught in a bind, just like the dilemma faced by the world's best shuttlers because on one hand there is the obligation to their respective nations and the other, their commitment to the game from which they earn a living.

"Perhaps it's just pure bad timing this year. This is the Sea Games period and also the East Asia Games, two of the biggest regional Games in their respective regions.

"I am sure if these two Games were not being held around the same time as the Super Series Masters Final, things would have been different. But perhaps we will have to look at a more appropriate date in future," said the source.



--BERNAMA

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