In a shocking revelation, Indonesian badminton legend Taufik Hidayat has claimed that a Malaysian badminton official had offered him cash to throw the 2006 Doha Asian Games semi-final match against Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
Taufik made the allegation in a discussion with journalist Raffi Ahmad that has since been loaded into Trans TV’s official Youtube Channel.
The former world and Olympic champion said that the Malaysian team manager had offered him double the bonus he would receive to lose the match against Chong Wei.
“Top athletes get this kind of pressures and it is important not to be swayed by such approaches,” said Taufik.
The Indonesian superstar defeated Chong Wei 21-16, 21-18 in the semi-finals and China’s Lin Dan 21-15, 22-20 in the final to clinch the Asian Games title
“A Malaysian manager came to request for my phone number and when I asked why he needed it, he asked me whether I can lose the match against Chong Wei,” said Taufik.
Taufik added that he was taken aback when the official offered double whatever bonus he would receive.
“How much will Indonesia pay you if you win, I would double it he said. I was emotionally disturbed and asked him how much he would want for his player to lose and I will pay,” said Taufik.
At that time the bonus for an Asian Games gold was approximately 200 million rupiah (approximately RM60,000 now)
“I was so angry that I told him that if I ever see him in Indonesia, he would never go back again. He had the guts to ask me to sell Indonesia’s name, it is the same as selling my country, he said.
While Taufik made no mention of any such involvement of the player in the issue, it said that the official himself was also a former player.
Former Gosports Indonesia editor Rahmi Aries Nova corroborated Taufik’s allegation as she had a similar conversation with Taufik in 2006.
“I called Taufik after his final match against Lin Dan and he was livid that a Malaysian official asked him sell his country for money,” said Rahmi.
“He said that it was a madness for anyone to think that he would do such a thing to Indonesia and the game,” she added, recalling the conversation with Taufik
Rahmi however, added at that time Taufik only said it was a Malaysian official and did not specifically say it was the manager.
“Perhaps the official thought that Taufik could be easily bought because he had already won the Asian Games gold before. This is why I had always respected Taufik, even though many do not like him. He would never sell the integrity of Indonesia, badminton or himself,” said Rahmi.
It is learnt that several other top Indonesian players during that time were also aware of the bribery allegations.
This is a developing story. More to follow.