KUALA LUMPUR: Being a former world junior champion, Zulfadli Zulkiffli, who was banned for 20 years and fined US$25,000 (RM98,537) for match-fixing, should have set a good example instead of getting involved in corruption and other unhealthy activities.
This is the view of Sports Ministry chief secretary Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali.
Zulfadli has denied he is a match fixer by stating that the WhatsApp conversations between him and Tan Chun Seang (used as evidence against him) was in fact a chat about sponsorship and their activity at a casino.
“As a national athlete, Zulfadli is someone that youngsters look up to as an inspiration to succeed in sport.
“When he talks about betting at a casino, it gives a negative perception. Athletes are always reminded to be disciplined in all aspects.
“They are not allowed to be involved in bad activities and we cannot compromise with an indiscipline athlete,” said Lokman.
Zulfadli is seeking help from the BA of Malaysia (BAM) and Sports Ministry to file an appeal against his suspension by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
“I have been informed that Zulfadli had sent an appeal letter to BAM. We are waiting for BAM’s report and we will support whatever decision the national body make.
“If BAM decide not to assist Zulfadli, our stand will also be the same,” said Lokman.
However, Lokman felt that BWF probably had solid evidence before they took stern action against Zulfadli.
“I am certain BWF conducted a thorough investigation on this case. I also read BWF’s report and it was comprehensive,” he added.