KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has confirmed that national shuttler Lee Zii Jia tendered his resignation last week, but the decision whether they will accept it or not will be announced in a press conference on Friday (Jan 21).
BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria said a series of meetings had been held with the world No. 7 since he handed in his resignation letter on Jan 11, but attempts to persuade him to stay have been futile.
“We see Zii Jia as an asset and we tried to persuade him (to stay) because we have groomed him since he was 13,” said Norza.
“Now that he has reached this stage, winning the All-England, we certainly didn’t want to lose him because he has a bright future.
“We want to take him to greater heights and be successful as Lee Chong Wei.
“However, he told us that he’s no Lee Chong Wei and he cannot cope with the pressure,” said Norza.
“We held a Council meeting (last Monday) to discuss about this problem and have come up with a decision.
“We have appointed our deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Jahaberdeen (Mohamed Yunoos) to look into this matter and he will be calling for a press conference at 4pm on Friday.”
It remains to be seen what action will BAM take, but there could be repercussions should the national body allow Zii Jia to leave.
It was reported that Zii Jia is aware that if he leaves, there could be a hefty price to pay as BAM reserves the right to ban him from competing.
There is a clause which states that players who quit the national team “prematurely” will face sanction.
Only those aged 29 and have played in all five major tournaments – the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, SEA Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics will be exempted.