Badminton Korea Association (BKA) has suspended men’s and mixed doubles player Seo Seung Jae, as per reports by yna.co.kr.
He has been suspended from the national team effective from 5 February 2020 till 31 December 2020.
Seo was handed the suspension because of a “double contract” that he signed.
He was evidently under a provisional contract with Incheon International Airport (coached by national head coach Ahn Jae Chang) when he signed a contract with Samsung Electro-Mechanics on December 2 2019. This is a “double contract.”
BKA gave Seo and the two organizations a chance to straighten out the matter till 31 January 2020.
But by the end of the deadline, no resolution could be brought.
The national body met on 4 February and decided to suspend Seo from the national team till the end of the year.
BKA stated, “As a national player, he has caused a social controversy called a doubled contract, which damaged his dignity as a national player.”
The whole situation might put a huge dent on the South Korea’s Olympic badminton campaign.
Seo Seung Jae and Choi Sol Gyu are currently ranked 7th in men’s doubles in the Olympic qualification rankings. He and Chae Yoo Jung are ranked 6th in mixed doubles in the same rankings.
Both the pairings are the best ranked Korean pairs in the men’s doubles & mixed doubles categories and are qualified for the Olympics currently.
An official of the BKA stated, “If you lose the rankings at the end of April, you won’t go to the Olympics. If the rankings for the Olympics are maintained, you’ll have to see what happens. It’s hard to predict what will happen.”
Whether BKA will send Seo Seung Jae to the Olympics or not is still unclear, but it looks very grim.
On the bright side, a member of the association said this decision could be followed by an appeal process.
Reports are that the association meeting lasted more than four hours. One of the major points of disagreement was the impact the disqualification of Seo would have on his two partners.
Seo will likely train with the Samsung Electro-Mechanics team following this suspension.