By Vipul Kashyap
New Delhi [India], September 3 [ANI]: With differences between India's table tennis ace Manika Batra and national coach Soumyadeep Roy refusing to die down, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said that it will speak with both parties in its bid to resolve their feud.
"We will sit and talk with both sides and not take a decision based on only one side story. We will try to talk to Soumyadeep but we failed to talk this time, once we talk to him then we will decide on what needs to be done. If Manika faced any problem then why did she not speak up before? Our federation gives full freedom to all players and they do well. Manika is the star of our nation and if she have any issue she can talk to us," TTFI secretary general Arun Kumar Banerjee told ANI.
"We provided her full freedom. She demanded her personal coach for the Olympics and we provided her that. She should know that her coach did not fit the Olympics' terms and conditions but we still stood with her and fulfilled her demand. Let's see once we talk to both and then we will decide what to do," Banerjee said.
Both Manika Batra and Soumyadeep Roy were unreachable for comment.
The differences between the two first came to light during the Tokyo Olympics when the Khel Ratna awardee refused to take guidance from Soumyadeep for her games. TTFI secretary Banerjee had made it clear that Manika's refusal to have national coach Soumyadeep by her side during matches at the Tokyo Olympics would be taken up for discussion after the showpiece event.
Banerjee had said it was unprofessional for Manika to call Soumyadeep the personal coach of Sutirtha Mukherjee.
"Personal coach is a wrong statement. Sutirtha plays in Soumyadeep's academy, but he is the national coach. To say her coach was not allowed with her is wrong on Manika's part. She knew before leaving from India what is the access of the coaches," Banerjee said.
Manika had requested India's chef-de-mission BP Baishya to allow the field of play (FOP) access for her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape. The paddler bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing her Round 3 match.
Earlier India's chef-de-mission BP Baishya had told ANI: "All the players and coaches know the extent of access each has. Manika had applied for a personal coach, which we had recommended as well. When you know his access, to come to Tokyo and demand that her coach be there in place of Soumyadeep is wrong. To call him the personal coach of Sutirtha is wrong as he had taken national camp even before coming to Tokyo. The criteria is fixed and I asked Soumyadeep to speak to manager MP Singh and report it as he is there. I strongly oppose this," he had told ANI. (ANI)