Kuala Lumpur: After Rio Olympic mixed doubles silver medalists Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying have decided to leave the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), rumors continue to swirl that Malaysia’s No. 1 men’s doubles pair, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong would be the next to go.
According to some sources, the Rio 2016 Olympic men’s doubles silver medalists have started discussions with outside sponsors and are expected to submit a resignation letter to BAM sometime this month.
Previously, BAM’s Coaching and Training Committee (C&T) has warned Goh/Tan who have been struggling since winning the 2016 BWF Superseries Finals to rebound by April 2019 or else will face the possibility of being dropped from the Malaysia national team.
The C&T also said that BAM would like to reduce the number of players from 60 to 48 and the coaches from 17 to 12 for a leaner and meaner squad ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
“So, how do you feel if you are the main player but have always been criticized and have been warned to rise to the performance before April?”
“If you are V Shem and Wee Kiong, do you think they would still be waiting for BAM’s decision? I heard they’ve talked to the outside sponsors but I’m not sure if they have already submitted a resignation letter,” said the source.
The aftermath of losing so many major players in a short time frame would undoubtedly affect BAM’s relationship with its main sponsors.
The two current main sponsors of BAM are badminton equipment manufacturer, Victor, sponsoring RM60 million and Celcom Axiata, sponsoring RM34 million.
“Currently, BAM’s expenses have reached RM30 million a year, this include the salary of players and staff, the cost of participating in different tournaments, both local and abroad.”
“We are still uncertain how much funding will be allocated by the government next year. The losing of major players so quickly will definitely make the sponsors think twice about sponsoring BAM,” added the source.
In early November, the Taiwan-based Victor, which has sponsored the Badminton Korea Association (BKA) since early 2009, was cancelling its contract with the BKA because of the Korean team’s mismanagement and flagging results.