New Delhi, July 17: Hitting back at Hockey India (HI) selectors and coach after she was not only stripped of her captaincy but was also removed from the Rio Olympics squad, a dejected Ritu Rani termed allegations against her as false.
The veteran midfielder, who has been at the forefront of Indian women's hockey for more than a decade, claimed that the allegations of poor attitude and performance brought against her were false.
It is being said that the former national hockey team skipper was snubbed by Hockey India for attending her own 'engagement', which reportedly irked the federation.
During an interview to a TV channel, the 24-year-old, who was instrumental in guiding the team to seal an Olympic berth after a 36-year hiatus, broke down.
"The news came as a shock to me. I had no issues of fitness or attitude at all. No explanation was given to me properly as to why I have been dropped. I didn't leave any training or camps, I got engaged when the camp was on a break," she said.
Ritu also pointed out that although Sardar Singh is also facing issues off the field, he has received better support from Hockey India. She also claimed that the allegations brought against her were false.
"I feel playing hockey for all these years has been useless. My fiance is hugely upset. Sardar Singh is also facing personal problems, his captaincy has been taken away as well, but he is still in the team as he deserves to be. Then why this treatment with me?"
"It's wrong to make false allegations. I don't think I will be able to watch the Olympic matches on TV," Ritu added, while breaking down on live television.
Indian women's squad
Goalkeeper: Savita Forwards: Anuradha Devi Thocham, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Preeti Dubey, Rani Rampal
Midfielders: Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav, Lilima Minz, Nikki Pradhan
Defenders: Sushila Chanu (captain), Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika (vice-captain), Namita Toppo, Sunita Lakra
Stand-by: Rajani Etimarpu, H Lalruat Feli
(With inputs from agencies)