National interests take precedence in effort to settle BAM-Zii Jia dispute – Ahmad Faizal

By BERNAMA

IPOH • National interests should take priority in efforts to resolve the dispute between the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and national top men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

He said all quarters including badminton fans should avoid blaming anyone for the problem and instead should try to seek an amicable solution.

“We should place our country first. I feel Lee Zii Jia and BAM always place the interests of the country above everything else.

“I see there is an opportunity for me as a mediator to bring the two sides together to settle this problem as everyone has their own needs and wants,” he said.

He told reporters this after flagging off the Commonwealth baton run in conjunction with the Queen’s Baton Relay 2022 at Padang Lintau Kampung Tengku Hussein in Manjoi here today.

Yesterday, Ahmad Faizal said he would meet BAM and Zii Jia soon in connection with the All England champion’s resignation from BAM, which led to the national body banning him from playing in international competitions for two years with effect from Jan 18.

About 1,000 people comprising national athletes, representatives of agencies, youths, residents of Manjoi and the Political Counsellor (Internal) Representative of the British High Commissioner, Tom Shepherd, took part in the baton run.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is being held in various parts of the world ahead of the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for July 28 to Aug 8 this year, and Malaysia is the 29th stop among the 72 countries involved.