The BAM will hold a press conference on Friday to deliver their verdict after confirming the shuttler’s resignation on Wednesday.
There could be two outcomes for the country's leading men’s singles shuttler, which is to get a fine from BAM, or receive a tournament sanction for quitting the team prematurely.
“As a player, I hope they won’t do anything to Zii Jia. Even if they impose a fine, I hope it is not a hefty sum. But more crucially, I hope the BAM do not ban him. It will be bad for him and the national team. Even if he is not with the BAM, he is still bearing the national flag in tournaments,” Liew told Stadium Astro.
World number one Viktor Axelsen also came out and threw his support behind Lee’s decision to quit the national body.
“If LZJ feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then that is what he should do in my opinion. It’s his career and his life after all. Only he knows what’s best right now,” Axelsen commented on his social media channel.
If a player (in this case LZJ) feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then that is what he should do IMO. It’s his career and his life after all.— Viktor Axelsen (@ViktorAxelsen) January 19, 2022
The Dane is based out of Dubai where he trains with several shuttlers on an invitational basis, including world champion Loh Kean Yew.
There could be a possibility of Lee joining the Olympic champion at his Middle East base camp, as a first step post-BAM.
Liew said that could also work out for the All-England champion.
“Yes why not? Axelsen in fact has invited me too, and I am considering his offer. The training level is higher because you would be sparring with top shuttlers, so it’s a good thing. But Dubai is not cheap.
“In my case, I would have to bear the accommodation and flight cost,” he said.
The former world number 10 also explained one of the biggest challenges he faces since turning independent was getting a solid support system, especially for recovery after a tough match.
“In my case, I did not have the extra money for the recovery part, which includes massage and physio. But I don’t think this will be an issue for Zii Jia. He can source for all of these through a new sponsor,” he added
Shuttlers who decide to go independent are usually consigned to sort out their tournament logistics as well, from flight to accommodation bookings to the PCR test documentation on arrival.
If they have the resources, they can hire a manager to sort this out for them.
Typically, a professional athlete’s comprehensive support system includes sports science, psychologist, physiotherapist, masseuse and a nutritionist.