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All's well with Zii Jia and BAM

WORLD No 7 Lee Zii Jia can now pursue his dream of turning professional. Yesterday, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) gave their blessing to the reigning All England champion following a meeting between both parties at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.

Zii Jia shared on Instagram that he has resolved his issue with BAM after a heart-to-heart talk with president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria.

The 23-year-old had submitted his resignation letter from BAM earlier this month.

That, in turn, led to BAM imposing a two-year suspension from all international tournaments last week.

The ban triggered fury, with top international players condemning a move that could have prematurely ended the career of Malaysia's best hope to win the country's first Olympic gold.

Zii Jia, however, met with Norza on Monday and followed that up with a meeting at ABM yesterday to come to an acceptable conclusion.

"I am pleased to have had a private heart-to-heart meeting with Norza together with my parents," wrote Zii Jia on Instagram.

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

"My past and future achievements will always be a product of BAM and Malaysia, and I am forever grateful to Norza for guiding, nurturing and allowing me to serve the country that I love.

"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 further elaborated after his meeting that the discussions were very positive.

He is also committed to representing the country at the Asia Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 15-20.

"The discussion at BAM today was to update on my appeal letter that I sent in," said Zii Jia.

"I believe we have a very positive conclusion, although further discussions will only be necessary depending on what BAM's final decision is next week.

"At the end of the day, no matter whether we are professional players or not, we are still playing for BAM and Malaysia.

" Although a final decision is still pending the endorsement of the BAM council next week, it is believed that an agreement has been reached to either reduce or remove his two-year suspension.

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