New Delhi: Amid the tennis tussle that has grabbed headlines in the country this past week, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Friday appealed to all players to put the country first and abandon their ego.
He also said it is unhealthy for sports ministry to interfere in Olympic selection matters. This, even though the ministry had tried to intervene in the tennis row before making a u-turn and leaving the decision to the All India Tennis Association.
"We'll not cross the 'Lakshman Rekha' and interfere in selection matters," said Maken.
AITA is still waiting for Leander Paes to confirm his participation in the Olympics after he was left unhappy with the team selection. AITA on Thursday chose to name two men's doubles team for the Olympics, teaming up Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna and pairing Paes, the highest ranked Indian (No. 7), with the 207-ranked Vishnu Vardhan.
This decision came after both Bhupathi and Bopanna refused to partner Paes at the Olympics and said they would be available for selection only as a team.