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Taufik offers apology, asks IBF to be fair

Rabu, 20 September 2006 23:26:33
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Primastuti Handayani, The Jakarta Post, Madrid

With all eyes on him at World Badminton Championships in Madrid, Indonesia ace Taufik Hidayat has apologized for storming out of the Hong Kong Open earlier this month, saying he merely wanted to give the International Badminton Federation (IBF) a lesson.

I know I was wrong at that time to leave the court like that, but I think the IBF must learn something from this case, as (bad umpiring decisions) did not only happen to me but also to Kenneth Jonassen (of Denmark) and Lee Chong Wei (of Malaysia), Taufik said after his triumph over Ng Wei of Hong Kong 21-17, 21-17 in 35 minutes.

The 25-year-old defending champion said: It was not my desire to leave the court, but I had to.

Taufik's status in the game is uncertain after he left his game against Chinese player Lin Dan when he was down 1-3. Taufik had disputed a point with match referees. The IBF will hold a meeting on Saturday to decide his fate.

I don't know about (the meeting). But if the IBF sanctions me, there should be a hearing first, to make it fair, he said.

Coach Mulyo Handoyo said the IBF should listen to Taufik's version of events before making a decision.

The player was earlier involved in disputes with tournament organizers during the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea, where he cited his dissatisfaction over poor calls from the umpire and linesmen.

The Asian Games was worse (than Hong Kong). It was obviously an 'out' shuttle and the TV showed it but the organizers switched it off, he said.

Taufik has also criticized several tournament host countries for being unfair to visiting players and siding with their own players.

That happens a lot of time; when linesmen made poor calls to give the advantage to the host players, he said.

To improve fairness in the game, Taufik called on the badminton community to learn from tennis by installing an instant replay system that players had the right to challenge.

By having such a system, players and spectators will know if the call is right or not, whether it's in or out, he said.

The International Tennis Federation has installed the system in its Grand Slam tournaments and it has received a good response from players.

This change is also to make the sport fairer, especially when the IBF plans to change the tournaments into a Super Series next year.

The IBF plans give the tournaments a makeover by upping their prize-money by at least US$200,000 and running a tighter schedule of matches.

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