Several international shuttlers have continued to come out in defence of Lee Zii Jia, questioning why a national association can wield so much power over players' freedom.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Friday confirmed they would not be entering Lee for any tournaments under the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the next two years beginning from January 18.
The BWF rules dictate that a shuttler’s participation for the world body sanctioned events must be through its member association, which in this case would be the BAM.
World number three Anders Antonsen lambasted that rule, calling it "ridiculous" and adding "there’s something crooked in this system".
"It gives the federation too much power. Players have dedicated their lives to this sport, and who knows if a player will ever come back again after a two-year suspension.
"The BWF seems not willing to do anything and it is really sad. I think it’s time for the players to stand together if we want to make some changes in the sport,” he said.
World number 22 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus echoed Antonsen’s sentiments, saying "national federations can’t hold this much power".
“I know many federations would never use this power to block their own players from competing, but it shouldn’t even be a possibility. It makes me furious and I’ll make sure these players know that we are all with them. I really hope BWF soon realizes this is not feasible for the future,” he said on his social media.
Former women’s singles world champion Camilla Martin also questioned the BWF on the matter: “Dear BWF, this is not how we treat one of the best players in the world is it? Please don’t let this happen, it will ruin so much.
"To all other players, speak up and stand together in this, otherwise it will destroy the sport we all love,” she said.
On Friday, Viktor Axelsen and several other Malaysian shuttlers including Koo Kien Kiat and Soh Wooi Yik pledged their support for Lee.
According to the BWF rules, a shuttler can be registered with a new member association after 12 months of leaving his association.
But even if Lee finds a new association to play under, it would still require the green light from the BAM.
That means to say if Lee wants to play under another association, the BAM must sign a Player Transfer Form for him to do so.
The BAM can object to his transfer by refusing to sign the Player Transfer Form.