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Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia gets green light to become an independent player

The world number seven receives the nod to go professional. He will still don the national kit for the Asia Team Championships in February.

2 min By Sanjeev Palar
Lee Zii Jia of Team Malaysia competes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
(Picture by 2021 Getty Images)

Malaysia's top ranked men's singles badminton player, Lee Zii Jia, has finally got his wish to become an independent player, after resolving the issue with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

The 23-year-old, who received a two-year sanction from his association following his resignation from the national team, met with the national body to find a solution and both parties have reached a consensus that will allow the world number seven to continue his career as an independent player.

Lee, on his part has committed to continue to represent the nation, starting with the Asia Team Championships from 15 to 20 February which serves as the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals qualifiers, set to take place in May this year.

"I am pleased to have a private heart to heart meeting with BAM President Tan Sri Norza Zakaria together with my parents" he shared on his social media.

"I am happy that we are now resolving this issue with BAM after receiving Tan Sri’s blessings to become a professional player." - Lee Zii Jia

Lee, who clinched the 2021 All England Open title, expressed his gratitude to the national body for nurturing him throughout his career to-date, "My past and future achievements will always be the product of Tan Sri Norza, BAM and Malaysia. I am forever thankful that Tan Sri guided, nurtured and gave me the opportunity to serve the country that I love."

The four-time World Tour finalist called on the nation to continue supporting all the badminton players of Malaysia regardless of their affiliation to the association "because at the end of the day we are one."

"I hope this conclusion unites us as Malaysians and Badminton Fans."

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