Badminton Life

Malaysia Considers Transfer Fees for Clubs After Hafiz Makes Sudden Switch

The saga of Malaysia's Hafiz Hashim and his decision to change clubs has prompted Malaysian badminton authorities to re-introduce the concept of transfer fees.

The system was abolished in the 1990s but the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is considering bringing it back after former All England champion Hafiz turned his back on Nusa Mahsuri, which he represented for nine years, to join ambitious new club KLRC.

Hafiz was unhappy with the fact that Nusa was unable to pay him a wage. Instead, all he said he got was a RM550 (US$170) monthly allowance from the BAM.

BAM President Nadzmi Salleh said in the New Straits Times newspaper that the governing body would look at the possibility of introducing transfer fees to compensate clubs for developing players before they moved on.

"There must be a guideline if a player wants to leave ... after enjoying the benefits for several years. We are looking into introducing transfer fees," Nadzmi was quoted as saying.

Hafiz's BAM allowance was paid by the national body as part of a government package it receives to prepare players for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The player's allowance was reduced from $780 last October because of his poor run of form, which has seen him fail to reach the semi-finals of a major international tournament since January, 2007.

BAM official Ganga Rao said it is not easy for clubs to lose top players after spending much time, money and effort developing them.

Because of the BAM's special understanding with Nusa to develop players, there is a chance that Hafiz could lose his monthly allowance while wearing KLRC colours.

Hafiz said his move was purely for financial reasons.

"I was told that RM550 was sufficient because as an elite player I was given accommodation and food," Hafiz earlier told The Star newspaper.

"But I am married now and I have more responsibilities. No one seemed to understand this. I trained as hard as anyone else but I did not get what I was due. Eventually, it began to affect my game."

Hafiz was hailed as a future star for Malaysia after he won the All England title in 2003. However, he has never really been able to recreate that form since and has struggled on the international scene while compatriot and world number two Lee Chong Wei flies the Malaysia flag.

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