Badminton Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria (right) at Akademi Badminton Malaysia, Bukit Kiara. Pix by Rosdan Wahid

KUALA LUMPUR: As if one player is not enough, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Tuesday confirmed another local shuttler is under investigation by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for match fixing.

On Monday, the local badminton fraternity was rocked with allegations of match fixing involving an independent shuttler who has featured in priority tournaments such as the World Championships and All England.

After chairing the Coaching and Training (C&T) committee meeting at Akademi Badminton Malaysia, BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria confirmed that not one but two professional players have been provisionally suspended from all competitions, as they are being investigated by the world body for match fixing allegations.

“Yes, we can confirm that we are in the loop, but it is a case that is handled by BWF. What we can confirm is that these players are provisionally suspended from all competitions.

“This definitely tarnishes the reputation of Malaysian badminton, so I want to make a very strong stand that BAM will not tolerate any form of match fixing or gambling. I have informed the coaches and I want them to convey this to the players. It is very serious,” said Norza, who is also C&T chairman.

BAM general manager Michelle Chai said names could not be revealed, as it was a confidential matter which could only be done by the world body.

“BWF had actually written to us because they have a relationship with us as member association, and as part of the process of also writing to the players through us.

“Basically we are the conduits, to pass the documents to the players, prior to them appointing their representatives.

“We have been informed of the players being suspended and the processes that will take place. We have to be very careful in maintaining confidentiality.

“We have to ensure that they have a fair hearing, and not a trial with the public or media. As this is a BWF investigation, we have to wait for them to make any announcement,” she said, adding that two separate letters were sent by BWF at the end of last year.

This is the first time that any Malaysian shuttler has been linked directly to match fixing. Under BWF’s rules and regulations, players can be banned for life if found guilty.

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