In a rare debacle, no fewer than eight badminton players from four teams that advanced to the quarterfinals in the women's doubles were disqualified from the Olympics for match-throwing attempts.
They include four Koreans -- Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.
The announcement came in a press conference by the Badminton World Federation at Wembley Arena on Wednesday. The other disqualified players are Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia. They were all due to compete for the semifinal on Wednesday afternoon.
BWF explained that the players intentionally tried to lose the final match of the round-robin group stage on Tuesday to get a favorable draw in the tournament stage from the quarterfinals.
The Korean federation appealed, claiming the Chinese started it, but the BWF rejected the appeal. The federation said it disqualified the eight for "not using one's best efforts to win a match and conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."
Critics say the debacle could have been prevented. They blame the round-robin format first introduced at this Olympics by the BMF for the match-throwing attempts because the final matches took place at different times. In order to prevent match-throwing attempts in football, the last games of the group stage all take place at the same time.