PETALING JAYA: New Year, new hope for shuttlers Lee Zii Jia and Goh Jin Wei.
The 23-year-old Zii Jia has made an appeal to Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to revert a two-year suspension from all international tournaments and will meet the national body leadership today to come out with a win-win situation.
It’s unsure whether Zii Jia’s appeal is for him to return to the national fold or to play on as an independent player under new conditions.
But if all goes well with both parties, Zii Jia is expected to be given the green light to play before he takes a break for the Chinese New Year celebration.
Earlier, the All-England champion dropped a bombshell by announcing his decision to quit the national body to play as an independent player. However, BAM reacted by imposing a two-year suspension on Friday after exhausting all avenues to discuss with the player.
Yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he was positive that a good outcome will be reached after meeting Zii Jia and Jin Wei in a closed door meeting.
“I met our national champion and heard his ordeal,” said Faizal.
“He will meet the BAM leadership today and I hope both parties will be able to unravel this issue.
“It’s my wish to see Zii Jia train again after the Chinese New Year celebration. We want to see a good decision come out of the meeting for the good of the sport,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BAM have also softened their stance after announcing that they have received an official appeal letter from Zii Jia yesterday.
“Recent events concerning Zii Jia’s resignation from the BAM and the subsequent decision by the council to not register him for international tournaments for two years, has had a profound impact not only on the badminton fraternity but on the people of Malaysia as well,” said BAM in a statement.
“We are fully aware of the outpouring anger and frustration, and we truly understand the disappointment expressed towards the association.
“This situation has been extremely challenging and has garnered attention from all parties, from politicians to international players.
“We appreciate all the comments, criticisms and overall feedback directed towards us. We will take note of the passionate sentiments expressed by our fellow Malaysians.”
They said they made the decision based on official procedures.
“However, it is important to note that this decision is not without avenues of appeal,” they stated.
“All players have the right to appeal and the BAM take this (appeal from Zii Jia) into full consideration.
“As the custodian of national badminton interest, we are looking into the matter with great urgency to find an amicable resolve.
“BAM are here to protect not only the sport, but the players, values, and standards that best represent our beloved country.”