KUALA LUMPUR: A 16-year-old shuttler from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) has been banned three months for gambling.
It’s the first time the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have taken such an action against gambling.
BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said they would continue efforts to weed out gambling and match fixing under their zero tolerance campaign against such vices.
The boy, staying at the hostel in Bukit Jalil, had kept late nights to indulge on online betting involving badminton and the English Premier League football matches.
He approached BJSS coach Kwan Yoke Meng and confessed about his problem.
It is learnt that the boy had wasted thousands on online gambling.
“Action has been taken against the boy based on the evidence we had gathered. He came to us seeking help to overcome his problem,” said Norza after a three-hour executive committee meeting at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
Norza said they would formalise a new Standard Operating Proce-dure (SOP) to tighten their current policy on gambling.
“We’re concerned that our junior is involved in gambling. The rules and integrity committee will embed new rules in the players’ contract. We’ll also come out with other mechanisms to monitor this.
“Once the SOP is established, any offender who is involved in gambling through legal or illegal means will be dropped from the squad with immediate effect,” said Norza.
He added: “BAM have zero-tolerance on gambling and betting. A small gambling act like this can lead to many other things like serious match fixing, cheating and stealing. It will affect the players’ form.
“We don’t want our juniors to have debts when they join the national team. All our players are given monthly allowances and they should be focused on their game.”
Norza said the BAM would invite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to declare their corruption-free pledge after the completion of this month’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games and World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
“From the top officials to the players, we will gather as a BAM family to declare the pledge. It’s our way to show that we are against these vices,” added Norza.
OTHER DECISIONS MADE AT THE EXCO
• The BAM will set up a badminton academy in Kuching.
• A cheering group – BAM Roar – will be set up to support the badminton team at the Aug 19-30 SEA Games.
• The Air Asia National Junior League will take place from September to November.