BANNED shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli, who has a shot at proving his innocence in a match-fixing scandal, must make full use of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) appeal process.
Zulfadli, who claimed to have been tried unfairly by the world governing body, will have to provide solid evidence against the charges.
Badminton Asia chief operation officer (COO) Kenny Goh admitted that he wasn’t convinced by Zulfadli’s reasoning at a recent press conference, and he hopes the former world junior champion would provide stronger evidence to clear his name.
Kenny made his comments after it came to light that Zulfadli can go ahead with the appeal process, even if he had not paid the BWF fine in full. In fact, the fine can be paid at the end of the appeal process.
“It is Zulfadli’s right to file an appeal. However, I don’t think it will be as easy, because the BWF have already proven him guilty based on hard evidence.
“Personally, I wasn’t convinced with his reasoning, so I hope he will come up with a better explanation to prove his innocence,” said Kenny on Saturday.
Earlier this month, the BWF banned Zulfadli for 20 years and fined him US$25,000 (RM98,000), after finding him guilty of breaching the BWF Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting, Wagering and Irregular Match Results.
Another Malaysian shuttler, Tan Chun Seang, was also found guilty of match-fixing, and was given a 15-year ban and US$15,000 (RM59,000) fine.
Zulfadli had claimed that the WhatsApp conversation (which was used as evidence by BWF) between Chun Seang and him was in fact about sponsorship deals and betting at a casino.
Kenny, a former general manager of the BAM, said it was better if Zulfadli had just come clean.
“If he admits to his wrongdoing, people might sympathise with him. It could ease the appeal process.”