BKA decision on Seo Seung Jae expected this week

A report today in Korea’s Sports Chosun paper revealed that the Badminton Korea Association (BKA) will be ruling on whether to discipline doubles star Seo Seung Jae over issues relating […]

A report today in Korea’s Sports Chosun paper revealed that the (BKA) will be ruling on whether to doubles star over issues relating to his professional team contract.

On Friday, mixed doubles world #6 Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yoo Jung both appeared in photos released by the new equipment sponsor for the Samsung Electromechanics badminton team.  However, it was Seo’s signing with Samsung in early December that landed him in hot water with his governing body after it was revealed that he had made a provisional contract with the Incheon International Airport team two days before finalizing a contract with Samsung.

In early January, it was reported that the BKA was giving Seo and the two teams one month to come to a mutual agreement.  According to the Sports Chosun report, no compromise had been reported to the body by their January 31st deadline and so the Performance Development Committee will meet on February 4th to make a decision.

Various news outlets pointed out in January that Seo could even be suspended from the national team, as happened to singles player Bae Yeon Ju in a similar case in 2009.  However, today’s report suggested that concerns over the harm Korea’s contingent for the Tokyo – and particularly to Seo’s partners Chae, and Choi Sol Gyu, with whom he is ranked #9 in men’s doubles – could result in some sort of compromise such as a suspended sentence.  However, it is unclear whether BKA rules allow for such a measure.

Viewed purely in terms of Olympic qualification, suspending Seo Seung Jae would be a disaster for national team Head Coach Ahn Jae Chang, who is also head coach of Incheon, one of the teams that was attempting to recruit Seo.  However, as things stand now, the BKA might still be able to accept invitations on behalf of independent players to represent Korea in Tokyo.

Even if Seo is suspended, his two pairings will still be invited based on the ranking points they have already accumulated since May 2019.  However, as things stand now, a BKA refusal to send Seo and Choi would leave them having to choose among sending U.S. Open winners Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol or Malaysia Masters winners Kim Gi Jung / Lee Yong Dae, or world #38 Kang Min Hyuk / Kim Jae Hwan, provided they can stay ahead of the Chew brothers of the United States.

Photo: Badmintonphoto



Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net