KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Purple League chief executive officer Datuk Jack Koh has given the thumbs up to mixed doubles shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying on their decision to turn professional.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying quit the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and are expected to join a professional club.
Jack said the way forward for Malaysian badminton is to create a thriving club system.
“One centralised system is not going to work for Malaysia. There should be many clubs with quality players, acting as the feeder for the national team,” said Jack yesterday.
He hoped that BAM would not curtail the professional players’ involvement in the international circuit.
“Peng Soon-Liu Ying should be given the full support to compete in international tournaments to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo (2020),” he said.
Last year, BAM introduced a new rule that prevented independent players from playing in major Open tournaments but fortunately, they have relaxed the rule recently. “In order for clubs to survive, they must have the blessing from BAM and NSI (National Sports Institute),” said Jack.
“BA of Malaysia should grant the top club players the opportunity to spar with the national players in the BAM at least twice a week and the club players should have the access to use the NSI facilities. After all, these players are playing for Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, Jack is happy to see the clubs’ strong participation in this season’s SS Purple League, which started yesterday at the Gem in Mall, Cyberjaya.
The SS Purple League features local and international players including reigning world champion Kento Momota of Japan.
Teams will compete in three stages in a single round-robin format and playoff format for the coveted SS Purple League trophy.
The first stage runs for two weeks until Jan 6 while the second stage is played from Jan 11-13, also in Cyberjaya. The final round will be held from Jan 24-27 at the Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting.
Total prize money for this season is RM1.5mil.