To: Whom it may concern (from the Badminton World Federation (BWF)) We, the undersigned, representing the international badminton community wish to register our concern with the state of proceedings in international badminton tournaments, particularly that of the highest level, which include Super Series, Grand Prix Gold, and Grand Prix tournaments. Our concerns mainly stem from the conduct of several countries that we believe are not only a grave threat to the integrity of the sport of badminton, but a blatant disrespect to other players and badminton fans worldwide. Our concerns include: a) MATCH FIXING - The numerous walkovers given by players when facing players from the same country, most predominantly players from The People's Republic of China. This is not only unfair to the badminton fans around the world, but also those who bought (often costly) tickets to those matches. In a time where the status of badminton is being threatened worldwide, both from an Olympic and a popularity aspect, such act(s) can only serve to further plunge the status of the sport. In addition to this, such walkover(s) are blatantly unfair to players that the aforementioned players who received the walkover(s) will play in the next round. As the worldwide badminton community, it is our strongest believe that badminton should be played in a neutral platform, and not through disgraceful technicalities such as these. Furthermore, we strongly believe that this is not in the spirit of the game. Such examples include, but are not confined to: i) China Open 2007 (23rd November 2007) - Chen Xu/Zhao Tingting gave a walkover to Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yawen. Both players were reportedly healthy and uninjured. ii) China Open 2007 (23rd November 2007) Chen Hong gave a walkover to Bao Chunlai. Chen Hong was seen to be fully fit and able to play badminton. iii) Macau Open 2007 (5th October 2007) - Chen Hong gave a walkover to Chen Jin. Chen Hong was, again seen to be fully fit. iv) China Masters 2007 (13th July 2007) - Xie Zhongbo and Guo Zhengdong gave a walkover to Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. It was witnessed that Xie Zhongbo was fully fit when playing Mixed Doubles earlier v) German Open 2007 (4th March 2007) - Chen Yu gave a walkover to Lin Dan, citing injury. He even put on a show by demonstrating his difficulty while walking down a staircase. 2 days later, he appears fully fit, reaching the finals of the All England. NB: Note that this list is not exhaustive, not even listing every suspicious walkovers that occurred this year in major tournaments. b) OFFICIALS FROM SIMMILAR COUNTRIES AS PLAYERS - Linesmen and/or umpires that adjudicate in matches involving players from same countries. We believe that this will encourage bias and unequal adjudication(s) for the players. Although quite common worldwide, we find an unusually large amount of Chinese linesmen and umpires in matches involving Chinese. We wish to draw special attention to an incident that occurred on the 23rd of November, 2007 in which South Korean players Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae walked out in protest in their match against Chinese Men's Doubles players Guo Zhengdong and Xie Zhongbo. The South Korean players complained of biased linejudging, and this would not have happened if linesmen were from a country other than China. We request that the following actions be taken: a) An investigation into the alleged match fixing in badminton to determine the cause and to find solutions to this problem. This is not unprecedented in other sports, and to popularize the sport, we believe that such action should be taken. What would a person think of badminton if scars of walkovers stain the integrity of the sport? b) Enact certain rules to preserve the integrity of the sport. Such rules can be, but are not restricted to: i) Having a 'injury time' if a player gives a walkover in which the player cannot participate in tournaments. – We realize that this rule might be hard to maintain and uphold. ii) Officials from countries that are similar to players participating cannot officiate. iii) Have BWF volunteers/officials from the panel mentioned in part (c) below to determine the nature of the walkover. c) Setting up a panel to examine each individual walkover. This panel can adjudicate other matters, which can include actions breaching the rules or action(s) that are deemed unfair. d) Investing of the Hawk-Eye or similar technology, not unlike that of tennis. We believe that this can effectively ensure fairness to all players. This has been a great hit for tennis, effectively improving the popularity of the sport. This is certainly the correct way for badminton to go. We do not aim to punish or discredit countries mentioned in this petition, particularly the People’s Republic of China. We, as badminton fans worldwide just want the integrity and respect for the sport to increase and be maintained. Hence, we, the undersigned, representing the badminton community worldwide, urge the Badminton World Federation to take such appropriate actions. Go HERE to sign the petition. NOTE: THE BADMINTONCENTRAL FORUM OR ANY PARTY RELATED TO IT AND ITS ADMINISTRATION IS IN NO WAY AFFILIATED, LINKED OR RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PETITION.