Badminton rot comes full cycle as darkest secrets come to light | Sunday Observer

Badminton rot comes full cycle as darkest secrets come to light

13 August, 2023

As usual, but now on a larger and sinister scale, officials of the controlling body for badminton have been involved in unscrupulous activities this time to be arrested by police, produced in court and remanded over alleged sexual exploitation using their positions.

In one of the episodes an official was booked after behaving in an unacceptable manner with the mother of a player and remanded on a court order.

It is alleged that his shady deed led to the break-up of that family leaving the young player in shame and exposed to the wrath of society.

Another official has also ended up in a prison cell reportedly for abusing a young boy. He has been remanded until August 21 when a hearing will be held in court.

The irony is that Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) which has not acted in a responsible manner has been conducting tournaments involving schools to show the country that everything is fine and rosy.

Insiders say it is rosy for some officials who are abusing their posts.

This time SLB is conducting an under-15 team championship and many schools in the country have no alternative but to enroll and engage in the game. However, the matches are played at five venues located in different areas that are inconvenient to reach. Two are private courts and one belongs to a district coach.

Three of these venues like Miracle, Engineering Faculty Courts and Richmond College Courts have concrete floors unfit for a sport like badminton.

The Miracle badminton court is located far from the Galle city and its floors are said to be sloppy and uneven creating difficulty for players.

The scheduling of matches also did not cater to the convenience of the participating schools and one school, Yashodara Vidyalaya, received a walk-over due to wrong information provided to their opponents by the official manning the tournament desk at the Active badminton courts.

Insiders say a former secretary who was the official manning the tournament desk had no right to function in that position in a schools tournaments since SLB took a decision that only a tutorial staff member can perform such a function at events involving schools.

The entry fees charged for participation at these tournaments are also considered extremely high.

The fee for government schools is Rs. 2000, semi-government schools Rs. 2500 and International Schools Rs. 5500.

An official said given the exorbitant rates it is advisable for parents to see their children in other sports like football, athletics and table tennis instead of badminton which has fallen to the lowest depths while administrators carry on with impunity under political cover.

Analysts and sports watchers say the sordid episodes are only the tip of the iceberg in the country’s rotten sports set up that has given a free-for-all in the business while corrupt officials attempt to stifle the media in whatever way possible.