Badminton Life

Minister Hopes BAM Crisis Can Be Resolved Before Thomas Cup

PASIR MAS, April 13 (Bernama) -- Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek hopes the internal crisis in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) can be resolved before the Thomas Cup final next month.

Ahmad Shabery said resolving the matter was important to avoid any disruption as the country prepares to host the prestigious tournament.

"I regard the sacking of BAM honorary secretary P. Ganga Rao as BAM's internal matter and hope it does not hamper the Thomas Cup squad's preparations or the country's efforts to host the tournament," he told reporters after visiting late Norfarahdini Zakaria's mother in Kampung Kubang Bemban, near here Tuesday.

Norfarahdini, 27, a national woman cyclist was killed after a fall during a training session with the Royal Malaysian Navy cycling team in Lambor Kiri near Seri Iskandar, about 60km from Ipoh.

Ahmad Shabery who handed contributions from the government to the cyclist's mother today said he would not want to see the crisis prolonged as it might affect the performance of the players and promotion of the tournament.

In Kuala Lumpur, National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong said though he respected the decision of BAM, but was gravely concerned with the timing of such an action since the players were preparing for an important tournament.

"The NSC has yet to receive a report on the sacking but I believe BAM president Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Salleh had good reasons for such an action. I will meet the coaches and players to advise them to remain focused," he said.

Zolkples added that if Ganga was not happy with the decision (sacking), he may refer the case to the Sports Commissioner's office.

Meanwhile, speaking of his own conflict with Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim, Zolkples said he was ready to make peace with the Union, provided a new officer was appointed to enhance communication and cooperation between NSC and MAAU.

He added that he had contacted MAAU President Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to express his opinion on the matter.

"I don't care who the officer is but what is important is that he should be able to work with NSC," he said.

Yesterday, Karim had offered to forget the issue and continue working peacefully for the benefit of the sports although he and Zolkples had several times before been involved in a clash of opinion.

Source from BERNAMA

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