Dutch Open kicks off under political turmoil

The Yonex Dutch Open kicked off this Tuesday in Almere, Netherlands, but eyes will be not only on the courts where the competition is to be played all week, but […]

The Yonex kicked off this Tuesday in Almere, Netherlands, but eyes will be not only on the courts where the competition is to be played all week, but also behind the courts, where an important Annual General Meeting is expected to take place on Saturday to decide on a new board in a very tense atmosphere. On Tuesday the Dutch Federation  announced the removal of Technical Director Martijn Van Dooremalen to another position.

Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Badminton made the headlines in the Netherlands this Tuesday, as the Telegraf published an article mentioning that the President of the Dutch Federation had taken the decision to take over the control of the high level competition’s budget to the main office and to remove Martijn Van Dooremalen (photo) from his current position.

Van Dooremalen, former head coach and Technical Director since 1999 was in charge of the budget until now, and according to the website www.badmintonline.nl, the Federation was not pleased with the fact that the budget had been overspent by €80 000.

In a press release published on the official website of the Dutch Badminton Federation on Tuesday, it was announced that Van Dooremalen was to be appointed in a different  position and removed from his post as Technical Director.

The federal administration believes that Martin Dooremalen, who performs this function since 1999, no longer has the added value that for years he did. ‘The Van Dooremalen effect is all gone,’ expressed association chairman Ted van der Meer the opinion of the board. ‘It’s time for change.’” stated the press release.

This comes in just days before the a new board is to be appointed for the Dutch Federation during its Annual General Meeting on Saturday. The political turmoil had started when a contract was signed by the Dutch Federation with a sponsor, with the obligation for all players of the national team to wear and play with the sponsor’s gear. The top four players Yao Jie (photo), Eric Pang, Judith Meulendijks and Dicky Palyama – already under their own contracts – had to leave the national team and have not represented their country in any team competition since then. The court case pitting these players against the Dutch Federation  is still pending.

Dutch ace Lotte Jonathans condemned the bad timing of this break out. “This is just the worst timing as we are only months away from the Olympics and right in the middle of our home event in the Netherlands. Changes should have made after the Olympics,” the outspoken Jonathans told Badmintonline.nl.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.