Badminton: Turmoil as Cameron resigns
By Richard Collins
Telegraph

(Filed: 15/11/2003)

The controversy and conflict bedeviling this Olympic sport took a new twist with the dramatic resignation of their chief executive, Neil Cameron, amid rumours that the sport's headquarters will leave England for the first time in their 70-year history.


The end of Cameron's five-year spell in the International Badminton Federation's top job yesterday suggested that a proposal to move the IBF offices to Singapore will appear before next month's council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The Scot has been opposed to such a move, even making allegations about selfishness and petty corruption in the motives of some of those seeking it. He fears a sport which is already Asia-dominated might deteriorate into a regional activity which would endanger its Olympic status.

"It is a wrench and a sad day, but I agree it is best for the IBF and for me at this juncture," Cameron said.

He has presided over a year of in-fighting which brought allegations that his staff in Cheltenham had made the world team championships' draw improperly, the rejection of a scoring system said to discriminate against women, and the unexpected postponement of the World Championships in Birmingham.

This took place against a background of political conflict in which Asia, who have the majority of the best players, events, sponsors and television, have tightened their control of the IBF's political organs.

Not all Europeans believe a move to Singapore would be a disaster. "We should not be afraid of examining such a proposal," said Stephen Baddeley, the Badminton Association of England's chief executive.

"What we should be fearful of is a political momentum which railroads it through without a proper feasibility study."