London, Aug 1: India’s badminton coach Pullela Gopi Chand Wednesday accused Japanese pair of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa of “wanting to lose” at a Olympic Games group match here after India’s Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa failed to qualify for the knockout stage in group B amid allegations of match-throwing.
Gopichand said he has raised the matter with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), which has so far indicated that no action will be taken against the Japanese pair.
India’s complaint was made before the BWF announced the expulsion from the event of the South Korean pairings of Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na and Ha Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung, the top seeds and gold medal favourites Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang of China, and Indonesian duo Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari.
According to Gopichand, a former All-England champion, match-throwing does not stop there.
He claims that once China lost to Denmark in Group D Tuesday, Japan “wanted to be second” in Group B.
The No.4 seeds Fujii and Kakiiwa went down 21-19, 21-11 to the unseeded Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin of Chinese Taipei at the start of the afternoon session, and despite Gutta/Ponnappa winning against the Chinese Taipei pair and Singapore, the Indians failed to qualify.
“In Group B, (Chinese) Taipei had to and wanted to win, but Japan wanted to lose to be second in the group to avoid China,” said Gopichand.
“We put in an appeal protest this morning and the BWF has come back saying they didn’t find any bias or anything beyond the ordinary in the matches. We’ve filed an appeal to review that decision.
“Just because it’s subtle and the crowd didn’t make a noise, the TV didn’t make a noise, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. In this match only one team wanted to lose.”