After the disgraceful episode of "throwing the match" and the subsequent ouster of eight badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia from the London Olympics, it was "apology time" Thursday for those involved.
The World Badminton Federation (WBF) has apologized for the scandal, while the Chinese Government too has asked its players to tender a public apology. The Chinese head coach also apologized to his nation on behalf of the players.
Eight players - China's top-seeded pair, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and two South Korean pairs -- Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min Jung, were turfed out from the London Olympics after the WBF found them guilty of conceding defeat by deliberately spraying the shots and faulting the serves to get an easier draw in the next round.
Yu tweeted her decision to quit badminton following the incident and blamed the WBF for shattering her dreams, reported the Chinese state media.
"This is my last competition. Goodbye Badminton World Federation (BWF), goodbye my beloved badminton. We only chose to use the rules to abandon the match," wrote Yu on her Tencent microblog.
She justified her actions to abandon the match and blamed it on the shortcomings of the new regulations in the sport.
"This was only so as to be able to compete better in the second round of the knockout. This is the first time the Olympics has changed the (event's format). Don't they understand the harm this has caused the athletes? You have heartlessly shattered our dreams. It's that simple, not complicated at all. But this is unforgiveable," Yu said.
Head Coach Li Yongbo acknowledged the wrongdoing and took up the responsibility for his players' conduct and apologized to his nation.
"As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology. Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team. It's me to blame," Li was quoted saying by the Chinese media.
The WBF Secretary General Thomas Lund said that the decision to expel the players was in the best interest of all the players and it was important to deal with such cases in a firm and fair manner.
"I'm very, very sorry this has happened for both the players and for the sport. The last thing we'd like to do is to DQ (disqualify) anyone. It was a very difficult decision for the technical official to make," said Lund at a media conference.
The South Korean and Indonesian teams had appealed the decision, but Indonesia chose to withdraw the appeal later. The Badminton Federation of Indonesia denied its involvement in the issue. The Chinese government, on the other hand, had made it clear that "it fully respected the decision and will investigate the incident further."