The last match fixing ban from BWF was given to two Malaysian players in May 2018. This had a lot of media traction even before the verdict was passed by the BWF. So the 18 months ban on badminton player Joachim Persson (middle, holding the play card in the photo) came as a shock to everyone.
He is now banned from all badminton tournaments & functions, or taking up jobs as a badminton coach or in badminton administrations. He has also been fined around 4500$.
Why is he banned?
In short, he was banned for failing to report to the BWF of two (2) instances where he was approached to fix matches. He is not guilty for actively participating in any of them. It is reported that he rejected both the offers.
The two matches of interest were in between 2014-2017. When he was later contacted by the BWF in regard to the incidents, Persson shared Whatsapp screenshots of the second incident to the BWF. These screenshots came back to bite Persson as it later became proof on handing out his ban.
Why 18 months? Too harsh?
One and half years ban for just failing to report might seem too harsh. This result however might be due to the fact that Joachim Persson refused to share his bank account transaction history to the BWF in the course of this investigation. He has also LEGALLY placed many bets on badminton matches on regular basis for over a decade. He regards himself as a badminton expert. This might also have resulted in a prejudiced verdict against Persson by the disciplinary committee.
What does Joachim Persson have to say regarding this incident?
In short he thinks it is ridiculous. He admits that he made a mistake by not reporting to the BWF, but also says the decision is too harsh. He thinks that BWF is trying to set him as an example to discourage such acts of non cooperation in the future. He also thinks he and his small time lawyer stands no chance against BWF and its huge resources.
What happens now?
Though Persson was not an active player in the recent years/months, he has been involved in coaching of clubs and other players. He was working closely with a Danish club Langhøj as coach and part of the administration. He was responsible for managing foreign players in this club. In the aftermath of his ban, the owner of the said club has completely cut any ties with Persson.