KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) received an appeal from national number one men’s singles shuttler, Lee Zii Jia against its council’s decision to bar him from international tournaments.
BAM in a statement said that as custodian of the national badminton interests, the association was looking into the matter with great urgency to find an amicable solution after the 2021 All England champion decided to prematurely leave BAM.
The national badminton governing body said the decision to not register the world number seven player for international tournaments for two years beginning Jan 18, has had a profound impact not only on the badminton fraternity but on the people of Malaysia as well.
“We are fully aware of the outpouring of anger and frustration, and we truly understand the disappointment expressed towards BAM. This situation has been extremely challenging and has garnered attention from all parties, from politicians to the international players.”
“We appreciate all the comments, criticisms, and feedback directed at us. We will take note of the passionate sentiments expressed by our fellow Malaysians. BAM is here to protect not only the sport, but the players, values, and standards that best represent our beloved country.”
“The actions of the BAM Council were based on the official procedures with the information that was presented to them. However, it is important to note that this decision is not without avenues of appeal,” BAM said.
Last Wednesday, BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria confirmed that Zii Jia had on Jan 11, tendered his resignation from BAM to turn professional, stating that he couldn’t absorb the pressure and regimented lifestyle at the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM).
Following that, the BAM Council said it would not register Zii Jia, as well as former Junior World Champion Goh Jin Wei, who made a quick U-turn to turn pro after retiring from the national team in September, citing health reasons, for any tournament for a period of two years.