B.C. badminton brawl sparks World Federation probe
A fight between two Thai badminton players that was caught on video Sunday during the Canada Open has sparked an official investigation by the sport’s world governing body.
The rare badminton brawl broke out during the men’s doubles final in Richmond, B.C. after player Maneepong Jongjit allegedly hit former partner Bodin Issara with a racket.
YouTube video of the ensuing scuffle shows Issara chasing Jongjit onto a neighbouring court and pushing him to the ground before repeatedly punching and kicking him.
Staff eventually dragged Issara away as Jongjit, who was left shirtless, was escorted off the court.
Commentator Jim Mullin told CTV News the scrap is unlike anything he’s seen in his 25 years doing play-by-plays.
“I went to a badminton match and a hockey game broke out,” Mullin said. “A chair was thrown in the middle of the pursuit. I thought these two were actually going to crash into the broadcast table at one point.”
The players, who were paired during the 2012 London Olympics, have reportedly been on the outs since Issara told Jongjit he was retiring to take care of his ailing mother, only to continue competing with a different partner.
“Obviously there was a lot of bad blood. This was the first opportunity for these two to face each other on the court, and we saw what happened,” Mullin said.
Prior to the fight, the players received a warning from referee for trash-talking during a previous game.
There’s no word on what punishment they may face but the Badminton World Federation issued a statement Monday confirming it is investigating the fight.
“The world-governing body has procedures in place to deal with such situations and this matter will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee,” it said.
Issara, who needed two stitches, was handed a black card. Jongjit and partner Nipitphon Puangpuapech were awarded a victory.
Badminton Canada executive director Kyle Hunter said the fistfight may force the league to consider tighter security in the future.
“We have fairly light security at badminton events, and it’s more to keep spectators and fans away from the court,” Hunter said.
However, there have only been three black cards handed out since the disqualification was implemented 12 years ago. Hunter said the other two were issued to players who swore at the referee and verbally abused an opposing coach.
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Bills and The Canadian Press