PUTRAJAYA: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost and national badminton ace Lee Chong Wei have been urged to set aside their ego in their current spat.
BAM deputy president Mohammad Norza Zakaria said they needed to be more professional and place BAM’s interests above all else.
“I do not want everything that has been achieved previously to go to waste because Chong Wei is an inspiration to all players, while Frost has his KPI (Key Performance Indicators).
“Frost has a mission to position Malaysia in the world’s top three, as well as hunt for the country’s first Olympic gold,” he told reporters at the Jalur Gemilang handing-over ceremony to the Malaysian contingent for the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.
Norza said BAM was also currently at its peak due to the contribution from both individuals.
He said at the moment, all parties should give space to Chong Wei to calm down and return to normal.
“For Frost, I think we at BAM will discuss with him, because maybe how things are done in Europe differs from Asia, and it could be a little harsh, however, we cannot be too Asian as well, because we want to be world class,” he said.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin backed Chong Wei to continue his career until the day the shuttler decides to hang up his racket.
“I’ve said it since the Olympics. As long as he wants to play, we will support him, and Chong Wei is also part of the Podium Programme under the National Sports Institute,” he said.
Chong Wei lost his cool when he learned Frost had told a close associate that his latest injury could be the end of his playing career.
This was following the MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury Chong Wei suffered during training at the Badminton Academy Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara on Saturday.
Frost today declined to comment on the spat.
Ties between Chong Wei and Frost appeared to be going through a rough patch when they did not speak despite bumping into each other at ABM this morning.
Chong Wei had blamed BAM for ignoring his complaint that the new court surface was slippery and dangerous for players.
The injury has caused Chong Wei to withdraw from the All England Championships in March.
Nonetheless, Chong Wei’s injury is not the main issue as the world number one player has been vocal in questioning Frost’s statement about his retirement to coach Hendrawan.
Chong Wei said Frost should tell him directly if he wanted to talk about his retirement and not through a third party.
The issue between the two badminton icons is not new as it could have stemmed from a personal clash in 2015. Frost was said to have disallowed coach Tey Seu Bock to accompany Chong Wei to the Japan Open then.