FORMER international Razif Sidek believes that there is more than meets the eye following the country’s top men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong’s recent fall from grace.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong lost to scratch combination Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin which led to Malaysia’s 2-3 loss to lower ranked Taiwan in the opening Group C tie of the Sudirman Cup on Sunday.
They played without any sense of direction on court and Boon Heong even confessed to his coach that he lost concentration – half way through the match – but no reasons were given for his loss of focus.
Razif said that he believed the senior players’ indisciplined lifestyles over the years had snowballed into problems and were affecting their performances on court.
He did not elaborate but said that there were discipline issues like late nights, gambling activities and absence from training. These, he believes, were some of the elements that prevented the players from giving their best during training and tournaments.
And the former All-England doubles champion (with brother Jalani in 1982) has taken the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to task for the situation.
“I have been travelling with the team (his professional players Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif) to tournaments overseas and sometimes, I see and hear things,” said Razif.
“I believe that they (the BAM) are aware of it as well but they have been lenient. They did not nip the problem in the bud.
“It is difficult to control the players if certain rules and regulations are not enforced,” he said.
Razif said that his “no holds barred statements” were not said in malice but he sincerely did not want the younger generation of players to be influenced.
“What example are we setting? BAM must instil discipline in their players – even if they are seniors. There is no exception to the rule. If not, the juniors will pick up all the bad habits.”