[QODLink]
2013

Badminton brawl shocks Thai fans

On-court brawl between former men's Olympic partners at the Canada Open prompts investigation from governing body.

Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 11:43
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The punch-up between the former partners, left, is being investigated by the Badminton World Federation [GETTY]

Thailand's top badminton official said Friday he was trying to save the country's tarnished image after an on-court brawl between former Olympics doubles partners, which he called unprecedented in the past half-century of Thai badminton.

Friday's comments by Charoen Wattanasin, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, came a day after the world badminton body opened two disciplinary cases against the players for their outburst during the Canada Open men's doubles final.

The fight was caught on video and has hundreds of thousands of viewers online.

The footage shows Bodin Issara lunging at his ex-partner Maneepong Jongjit and chasing him around the court, then onto a neighbouring court before punching him and kicking him several times on the ground.

Bodin, who needed two stitches, said Maneepong hit him with a racket.

Prior to the blows, the pair had already received a warning from the referee for a verbal exchange.

Tarnished image

"At this point, I'm not focusing on which side is right or wrong. The damage already happened and I'm trying to save the country's image in the badminton world,'' said Charoen, who has been involved in Thai badminton for nearly 60 years.

"I've never seen any incident as embarrassing as this one. Badminton is a gentleman's game. Something like this has never happened before.''

The Badminton World Federation said in a statement Thursday that its disciplinary committee was investigating the events and has asked both players to provide written explanations by Wednesday.

Both players face charges of inappropriate conduct, oral abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct. Bodin faces additional charges of physical abuse and conduct contrary to the integrity of the game.

Officials have not commented on possible sanctions but the players could face bans, suspensions or fines.

Bodin and Maneepong, both 22, were among the top-ranked badminton pairings and reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 Olympics. They split in January, when Bodin retired to take care of his ailing mother, but was soon competing again with another partner.

Sunday's final ended with Maneepong and new partner Nipitphon Puangpuapech, also from Thailand, being awarded the victory after Bodin was shown a black card.

Bodin issued an apology on national television earlier this week.

"I was smacked in my ear by a racket until I bled, and my ear ripped open. I lost my cool,'' he said.

"I have to apologise to every Thai fan that I shed bad light on our country.''

435

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Error processing SSI file
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.