Badminton Players Disqualified for Throwing Matches, Which Would Never Happen at a Backyard Barbecue


August 1, 2012

Badminton Players Disqualified for Throwing Matches, Which Would Never Happen at a Backyard BarbecueIf you threw back a handful of cold Dadweisers, ate a couple of burgers and/or dogs and/or sausages and then took to the backyard badminton court last weekend, chances are you could have beaten one of three world-class doubles squads at the Olympics.

At the very least, it would have been more competitive than Tuesday's matches in London.

Badminton, which is essentially a total joke as an Olympic sport to begin with, got a black eye over the past couple of days when three teams were given the heave-ho from competition for intentionally throwing matches. The three teams — South Korea, China and Indonesia — were allegedly throwing matches in order to get better seeding later in the tournament.

USA Today reports that in total, eight players were disqualified by the Badminton World Federation. The federation found the players guilty 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" in their matches Tuesday night.

The incidents occurred during the round-robin stage of play, with the qualifying rounds coming before the elimination play. This is the first time that the Olympics have involved qualifying rounds, and USA Today points out that this has been a problem at other badminton tournaments (again, ones that don't take place at barbecues) across the world. 

The game-throwing was so bad, in fact, that fans started to boo during the South Korea-China showdown that looked more like a game of patty-cake than it did like an Olympic sporting event.

Check out highlights of the match between South Korea and China by clicking here. And now compare that to what the sport can look like by clicking here.

The evidence is obviously pretty damning, and that's not something you want to see at any Olympic sport, let alone the gladiator sport that is badminton.

"This is definitely not within the Olympic spirit," China's Lin Dan, the No. 2 men's player in the world said, according to USA Today. "But like I said before, it's not one-sided. Whoever sets the rule should make it knockout so whoever doesn't try will just leave the Olympics."

Of course, shortly after those remarks, the guilty parties were forced to do just that — leave the Olympics.

Not within the Olympic spirit.

Damn straight, Lin Dan. Damn straight.

Let's just hope this type of behavior doesn't seep into other sports at the Olympics. The Games' foundation can only take so much scandal, and if audiences were to see something like this in another Olympics staple like table tennis or equestrian, it may be something that "sports" on the world's biggest stage may never be able to recover from.

Screen shot via YouTube

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