Tokyo: Former men's singles World No. 2 player Kento Momota of Japan who is currently serving an indefinite ban imposed by Nippon Badminton Association (NBA) after Momota was found visiting illegal casinos in Japan six times between Oct 2014 & Jan 2015 together with his teammate Kenichi Tago, may soon have the green light from NBA to return to action.
Kento Momota is one of the best badminton players in the world. (photo: AP)Kento Momota is one of the best badminton players in the world. (photo: AP)
While Kenichi Tago who also received an indefinite suspension and has been deregistered by NBA — a more severe punishment due to his serious gambling problem, already resumed his badminton career in professional leagues oversea such as Malaysia's Purple League, Kento Momota is still working his way through the term of punishment imposed.
Late 2016, officials in NBA believed Momota's ban could be lifted in May this year. However, according to the latest information provided by NBA, it's executive director Kinji Zeniya said Momota's recent effort and good faith could lead to lifting of suspension on him as soon as April 10.
"Board members of Nippon Badminton Association will be meeting this weekend in regards to the indefinite ban, if close to 100% of board members agree to it, Momota's ban will be lifted," said Zeniya.
The 22-year-old Momota, who became the first Japanese men's singles player to win a medal at World Championship – took home the bronze medal in Jakarta in 2015, has been working and training at NTT East while taking part in charity events since the suspension.
"We receive reports from NTT East regarding his progress on a regular basis. We believe he is deeply regretted about his past misconduct. In my view, he's being punished enough already," added Zeniya.