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Bangladeshi TT Players Suspended for Skipping CWG Matches To Meet Relatives

Two Bangladeshi table tennis players skipped their Commonwealth Games 2022 matches to visit relatives.

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In a bizarre turn of events, the Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation (BTTF) has suspended two Bangladeshi paddlers for skipping their matches in Commonwealth Games 2022 to visit relatives in London.

Sonam Sultana Soma and Sadia Aktar Mou were among the six paddlers Bangladesh had sent to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. Both of them were expected to compete in three events – women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

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After losing out in their respective second group stage fixture in the women’s singles category, Mou and Sultana were scheduled to take on England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos for the round of 32 clash in women’s doubles on August 5.

However, both paddlers opted to skip the game and instead travelled to London to meet their relatives.

On Tuesday, August 30, the BTTF decided to suspend Soma and Mou for three and two years respectively for ‘tarnishing the country’s image.’ “The decision was taken unanimously at the executive committee meeting on Saturday as they tarnished the image of the country by giving walkovers in the matches they were scheduled to play on August 5,” BTTF’s general secretary Sheikh Mohammad Jahangir Alam said.

However, it has also been confirmed by the federation that the paddlers will be issued a show cause notice before the suspension is officially implemented.

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Paddlers Deny Accusations

Both Soma and Mou have denied accusations of travelling to London, and have provided their version of events. Soma claimed that an injury prevented her from competing in the women's doubles fixture, and the team doctor was already aware of the developments.

"The allegations made by the federation are not true. We were accused of skipping a game in Birmingham and going to visit our relatives in London. But we didn't go to London, we were always in Birmingham. Everyone was aware of my injury and the doctor on duty asked us to rest," claimed Soma, as per quotes in Bangla News 24.

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The BTTF general secretary, however, has contradicted the paddler's claims, saying her injury was a minor one and it should not have stopped her from playing in the round of 32 women's doubles fixture.

"Soma suffered a minor muscle injury on August 4 and pulled out in the middle of a game before giving a walkover in the next match. Our team doctor assessed the injury which was not a major one and the doctor advised her to take rest as she had matches the next day," he said.

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