Badminton Life

BAM Promises to Help Hafiz with His Finances

Malaysia's Hafiz Hashim may receive some financial help from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to stop him from joining ambitious new club KLRC.

Former All England champion Hafiz, who is reportedly earning RM550 a month as part of his Olympic allowance, recently quit his club Nusa after nine years of service. He complained that Nusa, who has a partnership with the BAM to nurture players for the national team, were not paying him anything and all he had to survive was the RM550 given by the governing body.

However, BAM president Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said they want Hafiz to continue with their programme and prepare for the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

"Hafiz is a talented player and we want to help him," BAM president Nadzmi Mohd Salleh told local media. "If he works his way up again, he will enjoy better remuneration from the BAM. It will solve his financial worries."

"We are not giving him anything extra. It will be the same as the rest of the players in the BAM. The only way for Hafiz to enjoy them is to achieve good results. This is just an alternative for him." 

The 26-year-old Hafiz said he is tempted by BAM's offer and would think about it seriously. "Initially, I had no plan to join the BAM. I wanted to jump from one club to another. Now, the offer made by BAM is good. I will take it into consideration," Hafiz said in The Star newspaper.  "There are a lot of benefits as a national player." 

Hafiz's indifferent performances over the last 12 months prompted the BAM to slash his monthly allowance by more than 70 per cent in October. Hafiz said he had a productive meeting with Nadzmi and will inform him of his decision as soon as possible.

"It was a good meeting. I told him about my problems. He was very open. He was concerned over my performances and was sincere about helping me," said Hafiz. "I have to look into all the options. I have to see what is best for me. I will meet the sponsors (Yonex) first before making any decision."

Hafiz won the All England title, the most prestigious crown in men's badminton, in 2003 but has failed to recapture that form since. The last time he reached a semi-final of a major tournament was at the Korean Open in January, 2007.

He is expected to represent Malaysia as the third singles player in the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament, which will be held in Ho Chi Minh City from Feb 19-24.

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