The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have appointed seasoned sports administrator Robert Gambardella as Chief Executive Officer of the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) as they strive for financial freedom in the next two years.

The American was chosen over several other candidates in what BAM president Norza Zakaria described as an "immediate requirement" for the academy to generate its own income after 2021.

"We have a state-of-the-art academy complete with a mini sports science unit, hostel, auditorium, food and beverage, education and home schooling. For all these components, you need the organisation to be managed professionally.

"Robert joins us with a wealth of experience as the chief of Singapore Sports Institute for seven years who was also instrumental in delivering Singapore its first gold medal. We believe we have found the right person to lead ABM and establish the facility as a profitable badminton centre.

"Also, ABM are supported by the government for two years. After next year, we need RM5 million a year to operate and we want to make that happen,” said Norza at a press conference on Tuesday.



The 62-year-old is appointed on a two-year deal and is expected to report for duty on August 1.

Currently serving as interim chief of the USA Shooting, Gambardella's other roles also include Director of Sports Partnerships with the USA Olympic Committee and chief of USA Taekwondo, among others.

He was chosen by the BAM partly due to his familiarity with this region, and secured at a reasonable price, according to Norza.

Gambardella will also work hand in hand with coaching chiefs Wong Choong Hann and Misbun Sidek.

"We are looking forward to working with someone who has a vast experience, and his sports science background and management expertise will be valuable for us," said Wong.