Irate Rohan Bopanna blasts AITA for Arjuna snub
Venting his anger at missing out on the Arjuna award yet again, Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna on Saturday lambasted AITA for not nominating him within the deadline but the Federation said there was no point sending his application since he did not meet the requisite criteria.
The deadline to send applications expired on April 28 but the All India Tennis Association (AITA) made up its mind to send his name only on June 14 after he won the French Open mixed doubles title with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski.
AITA had chosen Saketh Myneni, winner of two medals at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, for nomination and the awards selection committee stuck to the deadline.
In the past, Bopanna has been nominated several times but his application has always been rejected.
"We professional tennis players put in a lot to bring laurels to our country. And no one could question otherwise.
However, it is when the system (the Tennis Association in this case) functions sloppily that is not only disrespectful but also robs one of the hope of a deserving acknowledgment," Bopanna said in a scathing statement.
"I am calling out to the lack of professionalism and efficiency by AITA for not sending my nomination for the Arjuna Award before the deadline. I have witnessed many such excuses for the past decade (while I was eligible and my record didn't falter) and then too, have never stood
However, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said they had a reason for not sending his application this year.
"AITA did not send Rohan Bopanna's application for Arjuna award this year since his application was getting rejected all these years because he has not won any medals for the country at the Asian Games," Chatterjee said from Cambodia, where he reached after attending the International Tennis Federation AGM in Vietnam.