Actor Neetu Chandra, black belt 4th Dan, a renowned Taekwondo player, who represented India in the Asian Games in 1997 hit out at the Taekwondo Federation of India over the fact that no selection trials were held for the Asian Games this year. The deadline to submit the list to the IOA was June 30th. And in what is clearly a violation, the TFI did the trials from 5th to 7th July.
Neetu said, "This is clearly an attempt to subvert the process. There are athletes who have been preparing to be part of these games for the past four years. This is how dreams are shattered. The players choose the authorities with so much of hope, trust, and faith. It is unfair not just for the players but for our country. It's a very high risk for the self-respect, pride, and dignity of our country. The federation has a greater responsibility with regards to the country and not just the players. The Sports Minister must take immediate action."
Being a Taekwondo player herself, Neetu felt deeply hurt at the way the players are given undue importance. She pointed out at this being one of the reasons for not acquiring medals in spite of being a largely populated country.
On learning about the players being threatened by the authorities at the federation, Neetu said, "In India, players are helpless who have never been given any support. They have supported themselves based on their talent. Thankfully, today the scenario is slightly better due to exposure to various mediums. Approaching the court and trying their level best to seek justice is the only ray of hope they have. And being a Taekwondo player myself, I feel responsible to support the players."
Neetu admitted that this was also one of the reasons why she left the sport professionally. She urged the players to fight for what is right and not be afraid of demanding justice.
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