Players furious after changes in schedule

Sweeping late changes to the schedule of the Olympic badminton tournament, prompted by an “oversight”, infuriated players on Friday.

“It's bad. It's not right,” said Polish men's doubles player Michal Logosz after organisers announced that some 60 percent of the matches, mostly in the doubles draws, would be affected by the changes to the tournament which starts on Saturday.

“It's the most important competition. It's crazy that they can't do the draw how they are supposed to,” said German doubles player Johannes Schoettler.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) apologised to the players after it emerged that the original schedule published on Wednesday had not followed the competition regulations as agreed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“There was an oversight and it's human error that this had not been carefully checked by our own team and myself at the outset,” tournament referee Torsten Berg said.

“But of course if somebody had expected to have a late morning on Saturday and they now have to play early they will be disappointed,” he added. “We understand that and we are sorry about this happening but see no choice other than to apply the BWF regulations and our agreement with the IOC.”

The tournament at Wembley Arena begins with pools of players competing in round-robin matches.

Schoettler said he and partner Ingo Kindervater had already prepared for an early game against Australia and now faced Taiwan in an evening match instead.

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