Lee Zii Jia. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25): A solution seems to have been found to the issue involving the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and Lee Zii Jia, with a top BAM official announcing that the two parties had a “very positive” meeting today.

BAM deputy president Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunos said both sides were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, which was held to discuss an appeal yesterday by the world number seven against his two-year suspension by BAM for quitting the national body.

“Meeting earlier was very positive, and I think we found a way forward for both Zii Jia and BAM.

“The only thing left for us now is to put forward the matter to the BAM council members for official endorsement. And we’ll make a formal announcement next week but rest assured, it is a very good conclusion to both BAM and Zii Jia,” he told a press conference at the Academy Badminton Malaysia here today.

Jahaberdeen said BAM were not making enemies of anyone including Zii Jia on this issue, and believed that the 2021 All England champion is pleased with the outcome, which is in the interest of Malaysian badminton.

Asked if BAM had received outside pressure to settle the issue, Jahaberdeen said there was no such thing because the national body had been consistent in imposing penalties on players who breached their contract terms.

However, BAM were always open to considering appeals filed by players facing action for breaking their contracts, he added.

“We saw that Zii Jia is really determined (to play), and we came to a conclusion we should help him if it doesn’t ‘injure’ BAM and other players. We want to develop all Malaysian players including Zii Jia, not spoil their chances.

“Zii Jia has a long career ahead. Surely, BAM as the governing body will help to nurture all players regardless of whether they are professionals or non-professionals,” he added.

On Friday, Jahaberdeen announced that BAM would not register Zii Jia for any international competitions for a two-year period effective from Jan 18.

This followed the 23-year-old player’s decision to resign from BAM on Jan 11 to turn professional, because he could not take the pressure and “regimented lifestyle” in BAM.

However, BAM yesterday said they would find an amicable solution to the issue after Zii Jia sent an appeal against the suspension.

Meanwhile, Jahaberdeen said former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei had not filed any appeal against her suspension.

Jin Wei, who announced her retirement and quit BAM in September last year before subsequently turning professional, was similarly suspended from playing in international competitions for two years beginning Oct 31, 2021. – Bernama

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