Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) Secretary General Arun Kumar Banerjee has revealed that star shuttler Manika Batra has informed the federation that national coach Soumyadeep Roy had asked her to concede a game in March 2021.
"Yes, she has written in her reply to the show cause notice that Soumyadeep had asked her to concede a game and that saw her refusing to have him by her side during the Tokyo Olympics," Banerjee told ANI.
Asked if charges of fixing would be levelled against the national coach, Banerjee said: "You cannot call it match fixing unless you have the complete version from both sides. We have to hear what Soumyadeep has to say to Manika's allegations." Asked about the next step, the TTFI Secretary General said the federation will first speak to the coach and any action will be taken only after that. "We have informed the coach about the reply from Manika to the show cause notice. I haven't spoken to him in the last two days. Let's see what he says and we can decide on the next course of action after that," he pointed.
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 had 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.