Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉)’s declaration to go professional last week started an avalanche of issues. While some were in favour, others disapproved. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) later announced a 2-year ban barring Zii Jia and women single’s player Goh Jin Wei (吴堇溦) from international tournaments.
Since then, there’s been a lot of tension between the two groups. Many have spoken up for the player, including local and international players. Petitions were also touted about in hopes of making a difference. Well, it all paid off. Zii Jia and BAM recently met to discuss the issue, and it has resulted with Zii Jia’s ban being lifted!
The meeting proceeded this afternoon, behind closed doors, but ended with favourable news. Zii Jia stated that he had a “private heart to heart meeting” with BAM’s president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria and his parents. “I am happy that we are now resolving this issue with BAM after receiving Tan Sri’s blessings to become a professional player,” he wrote. “At the moment, I will commit myself (to) the Asia Team Championships. I hope this conclusion unites us as Malaysians and Badminton Fans.”
Alongside the joyous news, Zii Jia took care to give credit where credit was due. He thanked Tan Sri Norza for guiding, nurturing and giving him the opportunity to serve Malaysia. “My past and future achievements will always be the product of Tan Sri Norza, BAM and Malaysia,” he stated. “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.”
Zii Jia’s words were a far cry from what he had been accused of. There had been rumours he wasn’t grateful to BAM and was leaving because he got a better offer. Zii Jia had claimed it wasn’t about the money. This was apparently proven when he turned down BAM’s generous offer of RM1 million a year to keep him on.
It’s certainly good news for the World No. 7 player! Unfortunately, there is still no news on Jin Wei’s situation. Hopefully, she too gets a favourable outcome like Zii Jia. For now, we look forward to seeing Malaysia’s current ace compete in the upcoming Thomas Cup and the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC2022)!
Sources: Instagram, Berita Harian
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