Badminton: Zii Jia gets BAM's blessings to turn pro

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 7 Lee Zii Jia finally got his wish granted - to become an independent shuttler.

The 23-year-old All-England champion took to his social media account to announce that he would be allowed to pursue a professional career after "resolving the issue" with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Zii Jia was believed to have met BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria to thrash out a deal to exempt him from a two-year sanction on Monday (Jan 24), before a subsequent meeting was held between the former, his representatives and BAM top officials that included deputy president II Datuk Seri Jaharbedeen Mohd Yunoos and secretary Datuk Kenny Goh on Tuesday (Jan 25) morning.

"I am pleased to have had a private heart-to-heart meeting with BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria together with my parents," he said on Facebook, shortly after attending the "very positive" meeting at Academy Badminton Malaysia.

"I am happy that we have now resolved this issue with BAM after receiving Tan Sri’s blessings to become a professional player.

"My past and future achievements will always be the product of Tan Sri Norza, BAM and Malaysia.

"I am forever thankful that Tan Sri guided, nurtured and gave me the opportunity to serve the country that I love."

Zii Jia also announced that he would be donning the national colours for the upcoming Badminton Asia Team Championships in Shah Alam from Feb 15-20, which served as the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals qualifiers

"I will commit myself for the Asia Team Championships. I hope this conclusion unites us as Malaysians and badminton fans," he said

"Please continue to support BAM and also the country’s professional players who are also nurtured by BAM because at the end of the day we are one."

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