Chong Wei – I will never leave BAM

Despite the exodus of start players from the Badminton Association of Malaysia, the jewel in the crown of Malaysian Badminton Dato Lee Chong Wei has no such intention.

The former world number one has denied any speculation of his impending departure from the national body, stating that only upon his retirement will he leave BAM.

“ It is not a question of loyalty or paying back but frankly why should I leave,” remarked the Penang born who was jovial after sending his Son to his first day of school,

“ I am thankful for what I have received all these 19 years, be it support on and off the court.

“ If the factor was solely financial, then I would have left a long time ago. But one needs to evaluate the scenario as a whole before taking the bold step of walking out of the national body,

“ Frankly I have never let that thought cross my mind.”

Speaking of the four players who left BAM to go independent, Chong Wei said they might have their own reason or motivation to do so.

“ It is really their choice as they may see things in a different perspective.

“ For me Club Development is good for the sport, as can be seen from Japan and Thailand where the clubs play a major role.

“ But do we have club structures in that mound over here that are financially and administratively stable.”

Chong Wei also weighed in on the request by independent players to train with the national players

“ It is a good idea and I am all for it. But we also need to look at the situation that will put BAM in,” added Chong Wei who will return to the national team training at Bukit Kiara next Monday.

“ There are issues such as apparel and equipment and this is where BAM has to protect the interests of their sponsors,

“ Perhaps there can be a win win situation as the players could train trice a week but without wearing any logos that will infringe BAM sponsorship rights.”

But while supporting joint training and sparring, Chong Wei also had a reminder for the independent players.

“ When you are called up for national duty, there cannot be excuses or conditions imposed. One should take pride in representing the nation and this is where I hope these players will give their best, for we all play under one banner, the Jalur Gemilang.”

Chong Wei added that he was looking forward to hitting the shuttle once again beginning next Monday.

“ I miss the action in the court, it’s a jittery feeling, but I look forward to it as I am counting the days,” said Chong Wei.

“ For this week I just want to focus on my fatherly duties of seeing my Son going to school, it was fun sending him to school this morning,”