Zii Jia's fans split over his controversial moves [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia's fans are torn and divided.

While many are supportive of the independent shuttler's unprecedented professional approach, there are also those who feel that his team, Team LZJ, should have managed things better.

Following the controversy over Zii Jia's image rights issue in wearing the national jersey at the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China, on April 27-May 5, Team LZJ issued another statement on Tuesday confirming that the world No. 10 will not attend BAM's one-week Thomas Cup training camp.

This resulted in some of Zii Jia's fans questioning Team LZJ's motive in releasing these press statements, suggesting they could affect the shuttler's performance and mental health.

Earlier BAM disclosed it had reached an agreement to compensate Zii Jia financially to wear the national jersey at the Thomas Cup. At almost the same time, Zii Jia was thrashed 21-11, 21-6 by Indonesia's Jonatan Christie in the quarter-finals of the Asian Championships.

"The management (Team LZJ) should have done a better job, but they are all amateurs. Maybe they can't afford to pay the pros?

"They never learn from mistakes, always causing issues for LZJ," said @hohshouwei on social media platform, X.

In response to this post, another fan, @afq.ifwt said: "Yes, I'm not angry with Zii Jia, but his team.

"I just want to highlight that because of their mistake, Zii Jia will have to face the backlash. Now it has affected his game too, because he was playing well before this."

At the other end, there are fans who remain steadfast in their support for Zii Jia and Team LZJ.

@emilygohjw said: "Remember to only focus on your passion - badminton! Do not get shaken or affected by this unimportant event. We all know you love your country and want to just play badminton at your best. Support you always and stay strong!"

@mohd_khadzrul said: "You know what's best for you. I will trust you and your team. Give it your best."

Although Zii Jia has opted to train on his own, he and his coach Wong Tat Meng will join the national squad on April 24 before leaving for China together.

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