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Neutral umpires for fairplay
Oleh : admin Selasa, 04 Desember 2007 09:06:48
While BWF has almost always appointed neutral umpires for international matches, there have been times where umpires, service judge and linesmen from China were used for matches involving their players.
By : K.M. Boopathy

REACHING three straight finals and winning one of them is not bad at all but Lee Chong Wei must start being cautious on two fronts.

Of late, the Malaysian World No 2 has regularly become the victim of poor umpiring and questionable line calls, while a new problem - a knee injury - has surfaced during his successful run since last month.

Umpiring and line calls are things beyond Chong Wei's control and it is the duty of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to ensure fairplay prevails in order not to put the sport in a bad light.

One way to solving the problem is by appointing neutral umpires and linesmen as this will reduce biased decisions in favour of players from the host nation.

While BWF has almost always appointed neutral umpires for international matches, there have been times where umpires, service judge and linesmen from China were used for matches involving their players.

This gives the local players an unfair advantage and the BWF must act fast to stop this practice.

Opting for local officials does reduce organisational costs but this cannot be at the expense of fairplay.

The BWF must increase the number of overseas umpires for a tournament and must also utilise them as linesmen.

This will not only guarantee fair linecalls but the visiting players can do battle on even terms.

The BWF needs to ensure that good umpiring and line calls are the order of the day or else next year's Beijing Olympics will be riddled with controversies.

Chong Wei has firmly established himself as a medal contender in the Olympics but this will only be possible if he stays injury-free.

He has been carrying an injury since the Denmark Open but still managed to win the French Open and reach the China and Hong Kong Open finals.

To ensure he remains as the World No 2 could have spurred Chong Wei to play through the pain barrier.

In the men's doubles, Lee Wan Wah's latest knee injury is a concern and this makes it important for third ranked pair Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan to get their act together.

Wan Wah, with Choong Tan Fook, are the more experienced pair but it remains to be seen how quickly the former can recover.

As for Zakry-Fairuz they must be more consistent so that they can give World No 1 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong able backing.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong's performances of late has not been consistent but as long as they can winning titles on a regular basis, they should be able to peak in Beijing.

(nst.com.my)
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