Mamta blasts HI for Asian Games snub

New Delhi : Livid at being overlooked for the next month`s Asian Games in China, experienced woman forward Mamta Kharab on Thursday accused Hockey India of ignoring her past achievements and the fitness certificate.

Mamta expressed astonishment over the decision to rule her out of the November 12-27 mega-event and claimed that she was fully fit for the national duty at Guangzhou.

"The attitude of Hockey India has surprised me. I was told by the federation that I need some more time to recover despite being fully fit. I had on October 22 submitted the
fitness certificate to Hockey India and informed them that I am ready for the Asian Games.

"But they ruled me out of the event on the pretext that there was no place in the team to make changes. No doctor from Sports Authority of India ever checked or visited me. How can you rule me out of any event without considering my form and fitness," Mamta told to reporters.

Mamta also regret missing out on Delhi Commonwealth Games for which the selectors retained almost the same squad that represented India in World Cup.

"During the Commonwealth Games, I had informed both HI President Vidya Stokes and General Secretary Narinder Batra about my fitness. I had not participated in selection trial
for World Cup because I was not fit at that time.

"Later on, I was informed that the same squad, which participated in the World Cup, will play in the Commonwealth Games also," she said.

"I was told by the federation that a separate selection trial would be conducted for the Asian Games and I prepared myself both physically and mentally for that. When I enquired about the Asian Games trial after the CWG, they told me there was no place in the team to make any changes," she added.

Mamta said she was also informed that two changes have been made to the squad -- Asutha Lakra replaced by Roselin Ralte and goalkeeper Rajni by Yogita Bali.

"I am deeply hurt and don`t think the federation requires my services any more. They are not at all bothered about one of their most experienced international player. I have serious
doubts whether they are bothered to know about me.

"I am deeply hurt by the apathy shown by HI. Despite playing international hockey for almost 10 years, I have been treated like this," Mamta said.

Mamta was instrumental in India`s gold medal finish in 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

"People make tall claims of promoting Indian hockey but the reality is quite gloomy," she said.

However, Mamta made it clear that she is not ready to give up and will try to stage another comeback after Asian Games.

"Why should I take retirement when I am fit enough to play for the country. I will try to make my way into the conditioning camp after the Asian Games. I am concerned about
the game, which I loved most and not about the officials," she said.

Mamta had suffered a knee injury at a training camp in Bhopal and underwent a major surgery in Mumbai in March.

She missed the World Cup in Argentina and also the CWG due to that injury.


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