Since two pairs from South Korea conspired with their respective Chinese and Indonesian opponents to manipulate the quarter-final lineup, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had earlier charged all the four pairs "...with 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."
World champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang wanted to avoid their counterparts Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, ranked no 2, until the final. Hence Wang and Yu deliberately lost to Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea in a round robin match.
The spectators did not get their money's worth as Wang and Yu either served into the net or hit the shuttlecock out of the court. The Korean pair played poorly too.
Seeing that not even a single rally was going beyond four shots, tournament referee Torsten Berg issued a stern warning in the middle of the match.
When Indonesia's Greysia Poli and Meiliana Jauhari squared up against Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jing of South Korea, things were more or less the same. Both pairs showed no interest in winning.
Though angry spectators booed loudly to show their resentment at the farcical proceedings, it had no effect on the players. Torsten Berg flashed a black card to disqualify all four of them but the Korean and Indonesian coaches convinced him to rescind their dismissal.
Though Jung-eun and Min-jing emerged victors in the end, their head coach Sung Han-kook admitted that the intention of his wards was no different from that of the Chinese.
He said that Jung-eun and Min-jing did not want to face Kyung-eun and Ha-na in the quarter final. Accusing Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of setting a wrong precedent, Han-kook also blamed the round robin format that had led to such blatant match fixing.
Incidentally, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was present in the Wembley Arena here and watched the four pairs present an unedifying spectacle yesterday.