The women – Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli of China, Jung Kyung-eun, Kim Ha-na, Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung of South Korea, and Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii of Indonesia –were thrown out after all of their players decided not to try in their matches which decided who would face off in the semi finals.
The players effectively tried to throw the games so that they would have a better draw for the next round. The Chinese wanted their players to avoid playing another Chinese pair in the next round, so tried to lose their match against Jung and Kim Ha-na of South Korea. The South Koreans simply wanted an easier draw in general.
Fans saw this farce unfold, only to sit through another limp contest immediately afterwards.
In the later match between the Indonesians and Ha and Kim Min-jung, both sides knew that the winner would play the Chinese pair of Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli. So again the sides deliberately played badly.
The match referee issued a black card to disqualify both pairs following a series of awful services and incredibly short exchanges. The Indonesians protested and the match got back underway.
After a period of time, though, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) stepped in and today disqualified everyone.
This is said to have come about as a result of the badminton matches taking place as a round robin contest, rather than straight knockout.
Although the competitors technically did nothing wrong, the BWF felt it necessary to make a bold statement, no doubt under pressure from the London Organizing Committee who will want Britain’s image as the home of ‘fair play’ upheld.