JAKARTA, April 14 (Reuters) - Badminton World Federation (BWF) should work harder to stamp out match-fixing in the sport, former doubles world champion Rexy Mainaky said.
The 1996 Olympic gold medallist, now head of athlete development in the Indonesian badminton federation, was concerned after two Danish shuttlers said in October they had been approached via social media to fix matches at the Japan Open.
World number 11 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and doubles player Kim Astrup said the person who spoke to them said matches had been successfully fixed at the high-ranking Singapore Open and Thomas Cup.
"We have easy access to follow matches online or via live streaming, unlike in my era. Therefore, the BWF should take this matter more seriously," Rexy told the Jakarta Post newspaper on Monday.
Match-fixers have been prevalent in soccer in Southeast Asia, tarnishing the image of the world's most popular sport.
Rexy was keen for badminton not to go the same way and warned the Malaysia-based BWF they should not underestimate the threat.
"Match-fixing exists in every sport," he said.
"Fortunately in badminton it is rarely found except when Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup openly reported a match-fixing attempt last year. It shows that badminton is not safe from match-fixing practices." (Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)