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CHOFU, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 16: Kento Momota of Japan celebrates after winning the men's singles final match against Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand on day six of the Yonex Japan Open at Musashino Forest Sports Plaza on September 16, 2018 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Illegal Gambling Scandal Graves Dreams of Kento Momota Rio Olympic Champion

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Kento Momota is one of the best badminton athletes from Japan. He has pursued a career as a badminton athlete since he was a junior player. His career continues to rise at the age of now who is currently 26 years old. He was even lined up as the best men’s singles player from Japan and became the toughest competitor for other great men’s singles athletes from China, Indonesia and Denmark. He had to keep his dream of winning the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 because of the illegal gambling scandal that dragged his name. 

At a press conference on March 8, 2016, Kento Momota and his fellow badminton athletes, Kenichi Tago, apologized to the public for their involvement in the illegal gambling scandal. Likewise with Tago.

Illegal Gambling Scandal Threatens Careers of Kento Momota and Kenichi Tago

illegal gambling scandal
source: Bola.com

On this occasion, Kenichi Tago did not question the destruction of his career in the badminton world due to this embarrassing scandal. He only asked the public to forgive Momota and give Momota the opportunity to be allowed to participate in the upcoming 2016 Olympics. This statement he conveyed as he shed tears and showed an expression of regret.

Kenichi Tago deeply regrets not forbidding his partner, Momota, from visiting illegal casinos in Japan. He should know that this illegal activity has the potential to ruin both their careers. Especially at that time, Kento, as Japan’s best men’s singles player, was having a very bright career and was undergoing intense training to prepare himself for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics later. 

Tago could only cry when he apologized to the Japanese people. He and Kento claimed to have damaged the Japanese public’s confidence in their illegal gambling scandal. He and Momota also admitted that they were very sorry that they had eroded the expectations of the Japanese public. 

The Status of Gambling in Japan

The illegal gambling scandal that befell Kento Momota and Kenichi Tago has sparked new questions about the status of gambling in Japan. Just like Indonesia, Japan apparently does not give official permission for any kind of gambling practice in the country. Because gambling is illegal, anyone who is proven to do it will get legal sanctions and monetary fines. 

Then the illegal gambling scandal that ensnared the two Japanese male singles athletes emerged after an investigation was carried out by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp.

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From the results of this investigation, it is known that Tago has been gambling for a long time, that is, he has played a total of 60 times in a span of 2 years, while Momota has only gambled 6 times at the same casino. During the 2 years of gambling, Tago admitted that he had spent around 1.2 billion rupiah, while Momota spent less than Tago. 

Sanctions for Kento Momota

As a result of this illegal gambling scandal, the Japanese badminton federation sanctioned Kento Momota, namely that he was not allowed to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. He also had to accept even harsher sanctions, namely that all forms of allowances for Momota would be withdrawn. This means that Momota immediately went bankrupt.

The Japanese Sports Minister at that time, Hiroshi Hase, visited the Japanese badminton federation. He visited in order to find out more details about this illegal gambling case

During his visit, he said that this scandal had a big impact on society in general, and the face of Japanese badminton in particular. Regarding termination of allowances, the secretary general of the Japanese badminton federation also agreed to the suspension of allowances. Kinji Zeniya said there was no reason and room for Tago and Momota to get allowances from the Japanese badminton federation.

Amount of Allowance for Japanese Badminton Athletes

You need to know that every badminton athlete in any country is entitled to receive benefits from the government through badminton federations in each country. In Japan, Kento Momota himself as a badminton athlete has received an allowance of 1.8 million yen or the equivalent of 217 million rupiah. Meanwhile, Tago received more allowances because he was more senior. The allowance that has been received by Tago is approximately 7.2 million yen or equivalent to 868 million rupiah. 

And apparently it’s not just an illegal gambling scandal that dragged down the name Kento Momota. There are also several other scandals, including the most scandalous hot at the time, that is a scandal that also dragged the name of doubles badminton athletes Japan, Fukushima, which was spotted coming out of dorm rooms Kento at 06.00 am. What do you think is going on between Kento Momota and Fukushima? 

Although previously proven to have played illegal gambling, Kento Momota’s career has now returned to shine. After he actively defended Japan in various badminton tournament events, he overthrew the world’s best players several times. One of them was our son’s sole player, Jonathan Christie, who was then responded to by Jojo’s friend (Jonathan Christie’s nickname), Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. 

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