Ismail Sabri (second left) speaks to Zii Jia (second right) and Jin Wei (right) while Mohamad Norza looks after the meeting today. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 27): It’s over! The controversy surrounding the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)’s two-year suspension of shuttlers Lee Zii Jia and Goh Jin Wei has been settled amicably as national interest prevailed.

Two days after world number seven Zii Jia was given the green light to turn professional, former junior world champion Jin Wei today also received the ‘blessings’ from BAM to pursue her career as an independent shuttler.

BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said both shuttlers were allowed to part ways with the national badminton governing body and that no further action would be taken against them.

Both players will also be eligible to register for international tournaments with immediate effect.

He said that in Jin Wei’s case, the BAM decided to accept the former SEA Games champion’s resignation as valid when she announced her retirement citing health reasons last September.

Commenting on the meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier today, Mohamad Norza said he (the Prime Minister) was happy after being informed that an amicable solution had been reached between BAM and the players.

We informed him that this issue has been settled, he was happy about it. The prime minister said that the issue plaguing badminton, which is among the main sports in the country, had attracted a lot of interest from everyone.

“He also motivated Zii Jia and Jin Wei to do their best for the country despite being professional players,” Mohamad Norza said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Jin Wei, through her Facebook page, thanked Ismail Sabri, BAM, Mohamad Norza as well as Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu for helping to resolve the issue amicably and pledged to continue to promote Malaysian badminton on the international stage.

“I will forever be grateful and thankful for all the support from and nurturing provided by Tan Sri Norza, BAM, the coaches and all support staff from the first day I joined.

“Last, but not least, I would like to thank all of you for your continuous support for me throughout my career and I hope for your continued support for BAM and myself as I embark on my new journey as a professional player,” she said.

On Friday (Jan 21), BAM announced that they would not register Zii Jia for any tournaments for a period of two years effective from Jan 18 after the world number seven shuttler tendered his letter to quit BAM on Jan 11.

However, on Tuesday (Jan 25), Mohamad Norza gave Zii Jia the green light to turn professional after accepting his appeal and holding discussions with the lanky shuttler.

Jin Wei too was handed a two-year suspension effective from Oct 31, 2021 for leaving BAM, claiming she wanted to retire due to health factor last September before making a U-turn to turn professional. – Bernama

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