BWF rule may leave national No. 1 in a quandary

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) stand on the status of independent players is clear – they will only accept their entries for all sanctioned tournaments via their member affiliates.

This means all Malaysian players, whether national, club or professional, will have to go through the Badminton Association of Malaysia to compete in any competition under the BWF calendar.

This rule will put national No. 1 Lee Zii Jia in a predicament.

The All-England champion, who quit the national team recently, will need the BAM’s blessing to compete in international tournaments.

In an email sent to the world body on seeking their stand and whether there is an alternative for independent players to play without the consent of the national body, they responded by saying: “BWF have no comments related to this specific matter, but there is a precedent of independent players and the member association of that country or territory coming to an agreement whereby the member association will submit entries into tournaments for the independent player.”

That means Zii Jia will have to make an amicable deal with the BAM to allow him to play if he chooses to stand on his own.