CHINESE ACCUSED OF MATCH-FIXING; BADMINTON PLAYERS DELIBERATELY LOSE TO GET EASIER NEXT ROUNDANGRY SPECTATORS WHO PAID UP TO [Pounds Sterling]80 DEMAND REFUNDS South Korea Coach Says 'We Didn't Try to Win, but Chinese Started It'

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Byline: Peter Dominiczak and Tom Harper

CHINA was today embroiled in a new Olympics row as their women's badminton team was accused of match-fixing.

In a game called "the most embarrassing ever", two of their players appeared to deliberately lose to avoid a stronger team in the next round.

Their opponents from South Korea then followed suit, hitting the shuttlecock into the net and missing shots. In a "domino effect" a second match between Indonesia and another South Korean pair was also apparently fixed.

Furious spectators who had paid up to [pounds sterling]80 to see the world's best players booed as the women appeared to deliberately hit shots into the net and out of the court at Wembley Arena.

Games chiefs faced calls to refund every spectator. The Badminton World Federation has charged all eight doubles players with "not using one's best efforts to win a match". They could be expelled from the competition.

It comes after 16-year-old swimmer Ye Shiwen was forced to deny doping allegations after winning two golds.

British silver medallist Gail Emms said: "It was disgraceful. They should disqualify the four pairs. This is not any other tournament, it is the Olympic Games."

South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook admitted his players had attempted to throw their matches but said: "The Chinese started this. They did it first. So we did the same."

A furious Bulgarian badminton star added: "China control everything. They do what they want." British athletes also rounded on the Chinese, labelled their actions a "disgrace" and called for them to be disqualified from the Games.

Top-ranked British player Chris Adcock, who crashed out of the mixed doubles on Sunday, wrote on Twitter: "Heard about the fixed match in the [women's doubles] at the Olympics. An absolute disgrace. I'd ban them for life. Chinese cheating, but nothing new."

The scandal unfolded when top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli lost their game against South Korean rivals Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na in an apparent bid to avoid another strong Chinese team in the next round.

It would also ensure that China had both of their gold medal hopes in opposite sides of the draw, maximising their chances of reaching the final. …

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