8 Aug 2017

Match-fixing attempt at NZ Badminton Open

1:11 pm on 8 August 2017

Badminton officials have confirmed they are investigating an attempt to fix a match at the New Zealand Badminton open in Auckland last week.

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Photo: 123 RF

The incident is still under investigation by the Badminton World Federation and New Zealand Badminton chief executive Joe Hitchcock says few details are available as a result.

But he says a New Zealand player competing at the North Shore Events Centre contacted the tournament officials saying they had been asked to fix a match.

Joe Hitchcock says badminton has made significant effort over the past two years to educate players, officials and coaches about corruption and match integrity, and the system kicked in well in this case.

"The player immediately reported the invitation through to Badminton New Zealand."

"That started our processes and policies around dealing with our sport integrity framework and what we need to do in terms of reporting the incident and following it up to reduce as much of the risk as we can."

Joe Hitchcock says New Zealand Badminton has had strong support from both the World Federation and Sport New Zealand in dealing with the issue.

He says this is the first incident of match fixing New Zealand Badminton has had to deal with but it shows how important it is for all New Zealand sporting codes to develop strong sporting integrity programmes.

"Incidents like this are very very rare and isolated but I do think it is an issue which every sport needs to be addressing.

"It is an unfortunate reality of sport these days."

"Badminton is a massive global sport - incredibly popular in Europe and Asia - the New Zealand open is broadcast to an audience of over 100 million households."

"Some sports may be perceived to be small here but there is a global community now and a close connection with what's happening around the world that New Zealand gets dragged into."

Joe Hitchcock says the World Badminton Federation and Sport New Zealand are closely involved in the investigations.

He says a WBF representative is working through the process with New Zealand officials and New Zealand police have been notified.