BAM president gives Lee Zii Jia 'blessing' to turn pro

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BAM president gives Lee Zii Jia 'blessing' to turn pro
BAM president gives Lee Zii Jia 'blessing' to turn pro

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Norza Zakaria has apparently given his "blessing" for Lee Zii Jia to turn professional.

According to an Instagram post by Lee, he and his parents had a meeting with Norza where the nod was given.

"I am happy that we are now resolving this issue with BAM after receiving (Norza's) blessings to become a professional player," wrote Lee.

At the time of writing, it is uncertain if this meant that BAM has officially rescinded its decision to not register Lee in international tournaments for two years.

Malaysiakini is attempting to contact Norza and other BAM officials for clarification.

All major badminton tournaments are organised by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Only players assigned by their respective national badminton bodies can participate in such tournaments.

Lee quit BAM on Jan 11 after his terms were not accepted. He wanted to choose his own coaches, plan tournament schedules on his own and decide on sponsorships but the BAM could not agree to this.

Following this, there was public outcry over Lee's treatment although there also significant numbers who backed BAM's decision, arguing that to concede would result in opening the flood gates for other players - many whom BAM trained since young - to do the same and causing BAM to lose its sponsorship income.

In his Instagram post, Lee attributed all his successes to Norza's nurturing and expressed gratitude.

"At the moment, I will commit myself to the Asia Team Championships. I hope this conclusion unites us as Malaysians and badminton fans.

"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," said Lee.