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Sunday, January 27, 2008

This Should Not Happen Again!

The Badminton Exclusive Article: Controversy and emotions ran high on the courts today in Seoul as a fought nearly broke out between World Number 1 Lin Dan and Korean Coach Li Mao.

It all started with a line call that was wrong. The umpire corrected it. Then another one. The umpire corrected that too. And then two more. Four incorrect line calls against the same player. Smells fishy? Luckily, the umpire managed to adjust all the four incorrect calls.

Already very much in doubt with the linesmen's ability to be impartial, Lin Dan continued playing. On the surface, everything seemed cool, calm, collected. On the inside, Lin Dan was boiling. The hot tempered Lin managed to keep his temper in control, just as long as the calls were corrected.

Then came a line call that went against Lin. Immediately, Lin appealed to the umpire to once again, change it. Unfortunately, the umpire did not have a clear view of the shuttle, and following protocol, did not change the call. Incensed, Lin Dan shouted at the umpire. He then directed his anger to his opponent Hyun Il, and then threw his racquet, which, intentionally or not, landed near Korean Coach Li Mao.

There has already been history and bad blood between this two players. The most controversial one is the one involving Li Yongbo's remark to 'break Lee Chong Wei's leg'. Fuming, Li Mao shouts at the sideline at Lin Dan. The Chinese coaches too, streamed out to protect their charge. Li Mao then pushes Li aside. A fight nearly broke out, with heated words being exchanged between the two parties.

Meanwhile on the court, Lin Dan confronts Lee Hyun Il, while Korean Coach Ha Tae Kwon attempts to calm the situation, but was pushed provokingly by Lin Dan. Luckily, the game referees were on the court and were able to arrest the situation before it degenerated into further chaos. The shouting match between Lin Dan and Li Mao continued, and was finally stopped after Lin Dan was given a yellow card.

After Lee Hyun Il won the 3rd game by the thinnest of margins, he was back to his humble and polite self. However, when asked about the incident, Lee said that Lin asked: "You saw that shot! Wasn't it out?.

This is a disgraceful incident. Lin Dan and to some extent, Li Mao are to blame for this dramatic but shameful encounter. Lin Dan, if you cannot control your emotions, don't be a badminton player. This is not your personal theatre or a boxing ring. Many other players, including Taufik Hidayat and Lee Chong Wei both have had similar unfair incidents, but did not react so selfishly and rudely as you. You are giving a bad name to the sport by nearly starting a fight. Luckily the situation was controlled shortly. Live with it. Let it go. If you cannot handle bad line calls, you don't deserve to be a top player.

I call for the BWF to take action and investigate this incident involving Lin Dan for his blatant disregard for the officials and the blatant disrespect he has shown for the game. Send a message that wherever you are, whenever you play, remember you are representing a sport with a community of more than 1 billion people. Send it as a warning to all that dare shame this sport.

Li Mao too, is to be blamed to a certain extent. He should not have reacted to Lin Dan's action. Forget and move on. Instead of his personal egos, he should have ignored Lin Dan's action, no matter how incendiary. Coaches are supposedly to be matured and calm. It does no one no good when one loses his temper like that.

Hopefully there will be no repeat of this incident.

PS: I have been informed that Lin Dan threw the racquet AFTER the match, not during the incident.

PS: I am not saying that the system and the Korean adjudication were not to blame. They are to blame, together with the China Open's organisers last year. However, I did not condemn Lee Chong Wei last year because he did not start shouting, shoving and throwing racquets at the umpire, the other player or other coaches.


Toronto said...

"If you cannot handle bad line calls, you don't deserve to be a top player. "

That is one of the most backwards statements I have ever heard. A player SHOULDN'T have to conform to bad line calls. Clearly, the flaw with badminton today is a lack of impartial line judges. This is one of the reasons why tennis uses "Hawk-eye", so such situations can be avoided. I find it odd how you seem to admit that things are 'fishy', yet you simply glance over such cheating (which happens in every country, let's face it) and choose to accept it as "the way things are." Kudos to Lin Dan for not taking this lying down, but rather causing much needed controversy, so hopefully people will realize the need for TECHNOLOGY to replace the jobs of corrupt linesmen.

Also, stop being a pretentious blowhard about badminton being a 'gentleman's sport.' We're not in the 19th century anymore. Of course, COMMON COURTESY is required in EVERY sport (except maybe fishing? :S), it's just that it's hard for badminton players to be polite when they are under the constant stress of RAMPANT CORRUPTION. There will always be players who are "less mellow" than others, that is simply a fact of life.
So stop trying to put the fault on players, when quite clearly (and blatantly, as you put it) the error lies in badminton's judicial system itself.

Peace, from one badminton player to another. :)

Anonymous said...

VC, you are two things, a badminton dunce or have a bias against chinese players, or even both.

In his younger days, Taufik had picked fight with audience, threw & slammed rackets on the floor, walking out a match.

"If you cannot handle bad line calls, you don't deserve to be a top player. "

How about superbrat John Mckenroe, he became a TV commentator and spoken for tennis.

VC, it is obvious your blog is an avenue for venting your biased, misguided and twisted mind of your.
I haven't read anything factual or logical in this blog yet.

Normal guy said...

WBF should do something on this. Why cant we follow what tennis is doing with the hawkeye and challenges? Tech can help to solve problems like this.
Sportsmen are sportsmen, they are in the war everytime they step onto the court. Its about their career and life. A bit of temperamental is good for the game, dont you think so?
What happened yesterday was not good for the game and audience, but if you ask the many many many audiences yesterday, were they hoping to see controversy like that to happen? I am sure they were expecting a fight to happen?
Were we so excited when a fight breaks out in football, ice hockey etc? I am not saying I am supporting fight/controversies to happen BUT I am just saying it is normal and will happen in sports.

The only lesson learnt we can get from all these are WBF must utilise the tech to help to prevent all these from happening.

Players are always players, not saints.
They are role model and also a human.

No matter you are from Msia, China, Korea, Europe...

Anonymous said...

ill logic, do not understand what this guy is talking about...

Victor Ching said...

toronto: Thanks for the comment. However, I have to disagree with you on this one. Top players should be able to handle the pressure and the bad line calls, and shouldn't have such violent outbursts like that. I do agree that technology (hawk eye etc) should be introduced to negate bias and error (I have a petition for the BWF to introduce such technology). It is true that it is unfair to the player, but players should handle it more maturely: Flandy Limpele kept quiet and went on with the game, Lee Chong Wei didn't shout at the umpire, player and coches. I am not anti China (I know, it may be hard to believe :)). I condemned Taufik when he walked out of the stadium during the Hong Kong Open. Even walking out earned Taufik a fine. I don't see why we should make an exception with someone that shouts, throws and shoves the other player, umpire and coaches around. TO some extent, I can say that Lin Dan and Li Mao were bringing their own personal problems out on court. However, point taken on the fact that we need to push for a better adjudication system in badminton.

anonymous: Hi, and thanks for leaving the comment. I don't condone what Taufik did in his younger days. Just because Taufik did silly things in his younger days, doesn't mean that Lin Dan should be allowed to shout, throw and shove players, coaches and umpires. Taufik was fined for walking out of the Hong Kong Open. Badass number 1 John Mcenroe's frequent outbursts (you can't be serious!), while on one hand was certainly entertaining at the time, but nevertheless, it is no excuse for badminton players to disrespect the coach, umpire and the other player. Regarding your comment that you have not read anything factual or logical in this blog, could you please elaborate as I would want to see where I am going wrong. As I quote toronto,

Peace, from one badminton player to another. :)

normal guy: Hi and thanks for commenting. I do agree that BWF should introduce newer technology to negate bias. However, until that technology is in place, I don't agree that players should fight on court in the middle of the game. To some extent, there has been bad blood between Lin Dan and Li Mao ever since Li Yongbo's 'break his leg' comment. Once again, absolutely agree with your suggestion and proposal to improve the system.

anonymous 2: care to elaborate?

Anonymous said...

This has been a tactic of Lin Dan for a long time now. Every single time a close call goes against him, he intentionally blows his top. Of course, the objective is to influence the linesmen to make calls in his favor. This is just another one in the long list of dirty tricks the Chinese team uses on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong, they are the best in the world. However, they undeniably play dirty every chance they get.

Toronto said...

Hi VC,

I realized I probably should reword what I said lol. I didn't mean to commend violent outbursts as Lin Dan demonstrated, but rather saw it as an opportunity for the BWF to realize the severity of "impartial-less judging." I just felt that being passive about bad line calls (e.g. LCW's general demeanor) wasn't sending the right signals to the 'bigwigs/decision makers' of world badminton. Unfortunately, if everyone conformed without complaint, things would most likely remain the same (e.g. they don't have to spend money on expensive technologies). Although I am glad you petitioned to the BWF, I believe that the players' voices would be heard more clearly (no offense :p)

Anyways, I absolutely agree that badminton, as with all sports, should be played with a positive, respectful attitude.


Rose said...

Badminton is a gentleman's game, it is not like football or ice-hockey where you can curse and yell at your opponents. But of course badminton players are human too with feelings, anger etc..what I can say is that yesterday's MS's match makes badminton more interesting to watch :)

Anonymous said...

agree with anonymous said, VC, pls don't misgude made no points.
although i dont like lin-dan, but i can understand his reaction and frustration.

""""VC, it is obvious your blog is an avenue for venting your biased, misguided and twisted mind of your.
I haven't read anything factual or logical in this blog yet..."""

vinny said...

I don't see what is so biased with this blog? In fact, I second what Victor has to say. Even if the line call is unfair in your favour, there isn't a need to blow your top and make such a huge fuss on court. You can address it in a more proper manner than throwing racket and etc.

Ng said...

Moving forward, hope that IBW and the authority use the "eagle eye" system to track on the line calls, as it had been suggested by many players, eg: TH, LCW,...etc..

on human eye, how to rule out those biased bad line calls during the Super Series/ Open competition ?

this recent months, we see some challengers to the China Woman players... included Tina (Denmark), Zhou Mi which represent HK,.. and etc..

personally, i think Xie and Zhu Lin still can display very highly chance to go into semi final of upcoming Super Series..

Anonymous said...

First of all, I saw the entire match. As a neutral observer (i.e. not from China or Korea), I was appalled by line calls. It was bad enough for the BWF to instigate an inquiry. I wouldn't go as far as calling it "cheating", but the thought does enter my mind. This is bad for Korean, as a few top players have boycotted the tournament.

I am amazed by the wild accusations that Lin Dan threw his racket at Li Mao. Far from it, he was still playing with that racket when play resumed.

The rule is that coaches are not allowed to give advise during play, except for permitted intervals (although this is blatantly flaunted by all). So, correct action would be put coaches "out of reach". Another point is, it is simply unacceptable for coaches to take pot shots at the opponent by cheap jibes. Shame on you, Li Mao.

Lin Dan overreacted to Li Mao's comments. It is perfectly reasonable to question line calls. In tennis, you are allowed 3 challenges.

It's time for badminton to clear up its act. What a farce? I can't see this happening in golf.

Victor Ching said...

anonymous: Hi and welcome. No comment :) Or people will be after me :) :)

toronto: Glad we could come to an agreement. The BWF should obviously review their system. If they don't have the money or resources, just use existing technology. Cricket uses the third umpire system where another umpire reviews the calls. If we can see whether a shuttle is in or out from in front of the TV, then it should be good enough for the umpire.

rose: Hi and thanks for dropping by. Haha, I agree that many people enjoyed the drama on the court yesterday, and I also agree that badminton and personal emotions should not be mixed.

anonymous2: Thanks for dropping by. Lin Dan certainly has the right to protest, but not to that extent. If he wants to protest, he can do it after the match by going to the BWF or lodging a complain through China Badminton. However, taking the dispute onto the court was the wrong thing to do. All he got was a yellow card.

vinny: Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Finally someone to support me :) Thanks, I appreciate it lots.

ng: Hi and welcome to the blog. Agree that the system has to improve. The competition in the Women's Singles IS certainly heating up eh? More exciting!

anonymous3: Hi and welcome to the blog. Its good to have someone from a neutral viewpoint to comment. Agree that Li Mao and Lin Dan were both wrong in taking their personal matters onto court. Settle everything outside the court. Also totally agree with you about the technology that should be implemented.

watcher said...

I saw it coming when the koreans are in the finals of every sport in homeground.It was so obvious in the last olympic games in seoul that make me sick watching. e.g. their boxers was almost knocked down to the floor and they still won. Icuk Sugiato walked out from a match against the korean with one sided line calls. Badminton matches should call for judges from a neutral countries.

Anonymous said...

Taufik Hidayat had a strike on court in Korea Open before when the Korea sideline referees again and again called against him.

Koreans has a long history of manipulating the games on their home court. Back in 1986, Asian Games, badminton team play. Then super star Yang Yang lost to a Korea player with the help of sideline and umpire. Period.

However, Lin Dan still needs to learn how to control the emotions.

Anonymous said...

I read about the dispute, please do not point the finger at Lin Dan, it was the fourth time the linesmen had called the shot out. I think Lin Dan reacted that way beacause it was a mistake that was done 4 times and because of the high pressure levels as it was the finals. What about Taufik, he always behaves badly on the court, for instance the time he actually walked out of the court and didn't come back. There are other misbehaving players too. Wait until they play in Indonesia, they even use black magic to win.

Good Luck Chinese Badminton Team

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with your comment saying "Taufik, he always behaves badly on the court"; we all know he's a bad boy but he's not ALWAYS behaves badly. At least he doesn't throw racket or yelling to umpire and his opponent's coaches. He even walked to and shaked hands with China's coaches after winning Asian Games '06. Lin Dan, on the other hand, behaves very very badly in KO '08. Nothing can't justify his action. I'm not against Chinese nor Korean; but they really need to train their linesmen to be honest and fair. Instead of being "Patriotic Linemens", they will bring big shame to their countrymen if they keep doing bad calls.

Anonymous said...

I just watched this game for the 2nd time... and though lin dan did act a bit rude, he had the right to because it was a finals game... everything is on the line, one little mistake can cause you your title...
That bad line call... was probably due to an unfocused line judge... where it was fully out.
Therefore he had the right to argue...
Also i read that he would not apologize to the korean team which i believe he shouldn't have for an unsportsmanlike behaviour, where clearly the korean player knew it was out... but said nothing because he wanted to win.

Clement said...

The lineman might be dreaming (though it's hard to explain one bad call after another, all against an against-Korean player), but the game organizer certainly shouldn't. Where was the freaking REPLAY?? The call was so controversial and from the small screen i was watching it online, the birdie wasn't too close to the line either and was clearly out. Yet, not for a single time did they dare to show the replay. Something is definitely shameful, if not fishy ...