The Table Tennis world witnessed the “NO-SHOW” of the three Chinese players in June at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Platinum China Open. The three top ranked players – Ma Long, Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong, all failed to appear for the tournament as a result of protest of their head coach’s removal. The International Table Tennis Federation decided to throw sanctions on China’s Table Tennis team as after the players quit the tournament.
Not only the players did not turn up, two coaches Qin Zhijian and Ma Lin also did not show up. CTTA (Chinese Table Tennis Association) appointed the coach of the Chinese team as Vice President. This decision made the players and coaches to not turn up at the tournament as their coach was removed from his position.
WRONG DECISION AT THE WRONG TIME!
The players did not turn up for their second round singles matches at the ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open. It became a huge controversy as the team was not informed about it and ITTF was dumb struck when the players did not show up. Though CTTA gave a preliminary statement, ITTF decided to investigate it before taking further actions.
But it did not just end here… Even though ITTF received a public apology from the team it had done huge damage to table tennis globally! The image and integrity of the Chinese team was deeply insulted.
The public apology stated that the players forfeited their matches “on impulse without fully understanding the details of the modifications that will be made to the management of the team”. “We have deeply realized the seriousness of this fault, resulting in … damaging the team’s positive social image of upholding patriotism, collectivism, and striving to fight for the glory of the country,” it added.
“At this moment we don’t like to play anymore because we miss you, Liu Guoliang,” the players said in identical posts on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The two absent coaches posted the same message.
Due to this disturbance, a reform plan has been into action where CTTA abolished the idea of “chief and head coaches”. Instead they announced that there would be two coaching teams for men’s and women’s player teams respectively in the Chinese team.
The CTTA released a statement defending the changes, saying they aimed to “strengthen the team structure, reduce the level of management hierarchy, and improve the efficiency of the preparation for the Olympic Games.”