February 12, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The quarrel between the Chinese badminton association and its top players over the players' share of their winnings in international tournaments has spilled over into next week's Asia Cup tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Chinese badminton association has formally notified the Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) that they will not be sending any players to the competition.

Top Chinese players like Olympic silver medalist Dong Jiong and Sudirman Cup hero Sun Jun have been asking the Chinese association to give them a larger share of the prize money that they win in international tournaments. Currently, singles players like Dong and Sun only receive 35% of their winnings while doubles pairs receive 42%. The Chinese association keeps the balance to cover training and travel costs, monthly player allowances, and association expenses.

Players in other Asian countries get to keep an average of 65% of their winnings. Players from Western nations are paid out 90-100% of their purses.

The Chinese players are also asking for quicker payment of their share and have complained that the Chinese association is very slow when it comes to paying them their percentage of the purses.

Some unconfirmed reports say that some Chinese players have been lobbying tournament organizers and sponsors to pay them directly instead of remitting their winnings and bonuses to the Chinese badminton association and that the association has had to recall and suspend several top players.

These unconfirmed reports also indicate that another reason that the Chinese badminton association is keeping the players at home during the dispute is to avoid the embarassment of a disgruntled top player deciding to take up residence outside China during an international tournament.

The Asian Badminton Confederation has invited India to send a team to replace China in the Asia Cup tournament. Other countries who are sending teams to the US$150,000 team event are Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.

This is the first year that the Asia Cup is using a men's team event format of two men's singles matches and one doubles match. Previous Asia Cups have been individual events.

The Asia Cup is the third tournament that has been affected by the Chinese internal dispute. At the Korean Open, Dong Jiong was withdrawn and recalled home before the start of the competition. At this week's Indian Open, all of the Chinese entries were withdrawn from the tourney.

Other tournaments like the upcoming Swedish Open in early March and the prestigious All-England in mid-March may also be affected by the quarrel. The world championships in late May may also see no top Chinese players entered if the dispute continues.