Rohan Bopanna isn’t amused by the fact that the AITA missed the deadline for sending his application in for the Arjuna Award. AITA’s lacklustre attitude has left Bopanna fuming, who genuinely feels that the AITA has robbed him off the award.
The last date for sending in the nominations was April 28 and the AITA sent in Bopanna’s name on June 14 after he won the French Open mixed doubles title with Gabriela Dabrowski.
Bopanna though has been nominated several times by the AITA, but his application has been rejected every time, as he is yet to win the prestigious Arjuna Award.
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 his 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 for it.”
The AITA though has defended themselves by saying that they had decided not to send in Bopanna’s name, as he had not been winning any medals at the Asian Games.
“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,” said Hironmoy Chatterjee, the AITA Secretary General.
“We knew why it was being rejected all the time.” he added.
He then went onto speak about the AITA’s decision to send in Bopanna’s name after his French Open triumph.
“I took a chance since it was a Grand Slam. It’s like winning a world championship. So, we thought let’s send it now.” he said.
Chatterjee was sympathetic towards Bopanna but said that Bopanna should check the criteria for nomination before sending out media statements.
“I do understand Rohan is disappointed for not getting the award, but it was because he did not meet the criteria for the award in 2016. He should see the criteria before making any comment,” the AITA official said.
“We do feel he now meets the criteria after winning the mixed doubles of the French Open. AITA will again try for him next year,” he added.
The committee has nominated Saketh Myneni instead, as he won two medals at the Incheon Games.
— Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) August 5, 2017
Bopanna though congratulated Myneni, as he knows the amount of obstacles an athlete has to go through in India in order to make it big in the world circuit