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Bend it like BAM

Reproducing my article that appears in today's The Malay Mail - ahead of the BA of Malaysia exco meeting at 2.30pm.

By Haresh Deol

KUALA LUMPUR: Will the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) stick to their guns? Or will they cave in to the demands of a third party?

The Exco meeting will be held today (2.30pm) at the BAM office in Bukit Kiara. Top on the agenda is the resignation of national coach Misbun Sidek.

Most BAM officials would prefer Misbun – and even his long-time protégé, world No 1 Lee Chong Wei – to leave the national stable.

Misbun is apparently unhappy with the coaching structure.

This was confirmed by Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek who spent a lot of time playing umpire between Misbun and BAM.

However, whispers in BAM's corridors are that some officials are beginning to backtrack.

They are wondering if they should make the right or popular decision?

"Earlier, only a handful of members wanted Misbun to stay. Now, it's 50-50. They changed their tune overnight," said a council member.

Another member added: "We would like the services of Misbun and obviously we would prefer if Chong Wei is also with BAM. But this can't happen by compromising our principles. If we agree (to reinstate Misbun), then all our decisions are pointless."

Mailsport learnt negotiations between new sponsors Maybank and BAM do not include a specific clause on Chong Wei.

The funding is direct to BAM and Maybank will replace Proton eventually. However, both parties have yet to ink the deal.

Maybank may want to anchor on Chong Wei. If Chong Wei leaves, it could affect Maybank's return on investment.

There are also claims outsiders have become a nuisance to BAM. Decisions are overruled by "using names of prominent figures".

BAM's credibility is definitely being tested.

BAM officials certainly have a decision to make today — to be merely someone's proxy or do the job they have been entrusted with, without fear or favour.

Now...which will it be?

HD says:
Let's see the outcome of today's meeting.


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