Match-fixing has been an inevitable fact in major tournaments worldwide. Well, to those who are very unfamiliar with this topic, match-fixing involves a match that is played to a completely or partially pre-determined result, violating the rules of the game and often the law.
This is actually a serious offence and if found guilty, a player could experience timed bans or an indefinite suspension from competing and even jail time. Oftentimes, these offences would be brought to light decades after the misconduct and this goes the same to the semi-final match between Lee Chong Wei and Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat in the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
That particular year, Taufik was crowned as the champion, bagging the gold medal, but, a Malaysian team official approached him to throw the match! At the 2006 Asian Games, Taufik defeated Chong Wei 21-16, 21-18 in the last four, and went on to subdue China’s Lin Dan 21-15, 22-20 in the finals.
According to Taufik, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist alleged that he was offered 400 million rupiah ( RM117,000) – double the 200 million rupiah (RM60,000) – to that were promised by the Indonesian government to win the competition. Upon knowing this fact, Lee Chong Wei has claimed that he would not name and shame the individual who approached Taufik and even Taufik refused to name the individual too. Apparently, the individual was an ex-national player. Instead, the shocked Chong Wei, called Taufik over the issue, as he was unaware of it.
He told Timesport, “Honestly, I had no idea about this. I was surprised when people started contacting me today. Taufik is a dear friend, so I quickly got in touch with him. He told me what had happened. Thankfully for people like Taufik and me, national pride always comes first. I know who the person is, but it’s been so long since this took place. I believe we should all move on. I don’t want to name or shame anybody.”
Chong Wei also revealed that he has been approached in the past by bookies to fix matches, but has never once gotten himself involved in match-fixing. Justifying his actions, he said, “I admit… I was also approached in the past to throw matches. I was young then. “However, my country always comes first. That is why I stayed away from it.”
Previously, in 2018, two Malaysian professional shuttlers, Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang were handed a 20-year and 15-year ban respectively by the Badminton World Federation for match-fixing.
Following this, several netizens have commented under the New Straits Times Facebook post expressing their frustration and scepticism over this matter. Basil Siing, said, “It’s been too long and finally Taufik brings up this issue? Strange, why now? Why not move on like nothing happened, unless you are involved too and want to drag Lee Chong Wei into this case?”
Some netizens have also wanted Lee Chong Wei to reveal the name of the individual involved and bring up corruption charges against him.
They were disappointed with his silence on this matter. Arefe Cook said, “Just reveal the person so that SPRM can take action regardless of the time it happened.”
Nevertheless, it’s high time we hold individuals in charge of corruption accountable for their actions. Hopefully, in due time, the name of the individual would be revealed to prevent corruption from spreading like a plague in the sports industry.