PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will have to defuse quickly a “time bomb” which has seemingly appeared in the national training centre at the Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara.
And the matter that may bring negative consequences is their decision to allow players who are not under their banner to join national training.
The BAM have given the nod to former national player Yong Hock Kin and the Hashim brothers from professional club Nusa Mahsuri, Roslin and Hafiz, to train full-time under the charge of new singles chief coach Misbun Sidek, who was the chief coach of Nusa Mahsuri before he took up the appointment with the BAM.
These players now enjoy the benefit of quality training sessions with the country's cream of the crop but they are not bound by contracts with the BAM.
This group of players have individual contracts with their sponsors. But they do not receive monthly allowances or other financial benefits from the BAM. They also have to bear their own expenses to compete in overseas trips.
Those under the BAM banner cannot have their own sponsorship contracts, which can be very lucrative if the player holds a high national and world ranking.
This is a delicate matter for the BAM to deal with urgently because it may lead to differences between the two groups of players and cause a rift in the training camp.
Failure to arrest a brewing problem may lead to a top player leaving the association to join a club and then make a return to the national team.
The BAM have yet to explain to their players the intention in bringing Hock Kin and the Nusa Mahsuri shuttlers back in the national training camp.
Hock Kin has been given the nod to train with the national team as part of his preparation for the All-England (Feb 12-16) and Swiss Open (Feb 19-23).
The BAM certainly will not want to be embroiled in another controversy, which could come hot on the heels of the issue involving veteran shuttler Ong Ewe Hock.
The management, led by president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, need to call the players for a discussion soon to address the matter.
In the past, the Nusa Mahsuri shuttlers were only required to join national centralised training if they were selected to play in the major team events, which included the Thomas Cup, Asian Games and SEA Games.
Roslin and Hafiz began training in the national camp on Jan 2 while Hock Kin got the green light to join in a week ago.