The prize money that was withheld from the winner ZHANG Jike (CHN) at the LIEBHERR 2014 Men's World Cup for kicking sponsorship surrounds will go towards promoting fair play in table tennis.
ZHANG Jike was deprived of his $45,000 prize money for kicking two sponsorship surrounds, part of the playing equipment during his celebration after defeating compatriot MA Long 4-3, to secure his second Men's World Cup crown in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Executive Committee proposes that the fine will go towards funding an annual Fair Play award, to reward players for their good will on and off the table tennis court.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated: "The ITTF encourages all players to show strong emotions when playing table tennis. Unfortunately ZHANG Jike showed destructive and negative emotion after his Men's World Cup victory, which left the competition jury no option, but to fine him or to disqualify him which would have had the consequence not only losing the prize money, but also the title and the ranking points. We are glad that we kept his title, as it was a brilliant performance by the Olympic champion.
It is good that the ITTF to be able to reinvest the money that ZHANG Jike was fined into rewarding fair play amongst our players, with an annual Fair Play award."
The man sanctioned, ZHANG Jike was also pleased that his prize money was going to a good cause: "I am happy that the money will be offered to a Fair Play award. This will give a good example to the younger players."
The details for the Fair Play award is still being discussed, but an announcement is due shortly.