Poonam Rani feels that the National Sports Awards Selection Committee is not “playing fair”.© PTI
Indian women’s Hockey team’s Poonam Rani on Sunday expressed disappointment with this year’s Arjuna Award announcement and raised question over being ”ignored” for the accolade. “I am trying for the Arjuna Award for the last three years. All of my fellow players have received it but I am being ignored. I feel bad because I am also one of the players who work hard and perform for the country. If I don’t have an approach, it doesn’t mean I can’t be conferred with Arjuna Award,” Rani told ANI.
Hockey players Deepika and Akashdeep Singh have been chosen for this year’s Arjuna Award. As many as 27 athletes have been selected to receive the Arjuna Award this year. Also, Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal will be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Rani also feels that the National Sports Awards Selection Committee is not “playing fair” and there is “favoritism”.
“I think that there is favoritism and the committee is not playing fair because, for the past three years, my name is being ignored. Getting a medal in a team game is not an easy task. The players who have got the award, I am happy for them but the committee should have recommended other deserving players as well,” she said.
Arjuna Award is an honour bestowed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to recognise the achievement of athletes. The award carries a cash prize, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.
“I think the number of awards in team games should be increased so that good players can also receive the awards. I am also one of the players of the team that has played many tournaments. Others have got the award but not me. I am also deserving, why I am being ignored?” Rani added.
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