Sun, 28 May 2000

KL badminton chief must go: Sidek

JAKARTA (JP): Malaysia's Nusa Mahsuri coach Misbun Sidek said on Saturday Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan should stick to his plan to quit after his team's disappointing Thomas Cup showing.

"Whatever the decision made by the BAM Council members, Fadzil should stand firm with his pledge to quit. Fadzil should have known the implications before staking his job on a Malaysian victory," Misbun, a former singles champion who helped to coach the country's team, was quoted as saying by Bernama.

In a move anticipated by many, the council decided on Friday to turn down Fadzil's resignation.

Fadzil vowed to resign after his team was beaten by Denmark in round-robin matches and shut out of the semifinals, its second worst showing during his tenure since the 1996 Thomas Cup in Hong Kong.

He previously said BAM would consider hiring foreign coaches, including from Indonesia, to help the association boost its players' performance in international events.

Separately, Malaysia Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammudin Tun Hussein requested BAM study its weaknesses and said the results could lead to changes in the organization.

"We acknowledge that there are weaknesses (in BAM's set-up).. we know there are shortages of trainees and the pool of players."

Hishammudin said BAM might need to form two groups of shuttlers, one an elite squad and the other composed of back-up players who would be evaluated purely on their ability to perform.

He also advised BAM officials against taking drastic actions because they could affect Malaysian shuttlers in the Olympic Games in Sydney in September. (yan)