A spelling error in the air ticket of a player appeared to have cost Bangladesh men’s and women’s table tennis team a place in next month’s World Championship in Germany.
Bangladesh were hoping to qualify for the World Championship by finishing in top-24 among the 32 participating countries in the ongoing Asian Championship in China.
Both men’s and women’s team suffered crushing defeats in their respective group matches on Sunday, ruining the prospect.
Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation officials held the players’ long delay in Kunming Changshui International Airport en route to Wuxi, a city near Shanghai, responsible for unexpectedly poor result.
The seven-member team had to wait more than 12 hours in Kunming as the airlines authorities refused to take one of the players to flight because of a spelling error in her ticket.
The name of Sadia Rahman Mou was wrongly spelled in her ticket, leaving her stranded at the airport. The other players also could not leave her alone as the team was traveling without any manager.
Bangladesh team coach Mohammad Ali, who had to abandon his trip at the eleventh hour due to fund crisis, said the players finally brought a fresh ticket for Sadia before boarding into the plane.
By the time they reached Wuxi, it was too late for the team to prepare for the game.
Sadia’s mother Shahnaz Parvin told New Age that she drew the attention of federation officials about the spelling error before leaving Dhaka but no one paid any heed.
‘She was really very upset about the whole thing,’ said Shahnaz Parvin.
Bangladesh’s hope of qualifying in the next month’s World Table Tennis Championship was also ended after some awful performances.
Bangladesh men’s team lost their first two Group F matches respectively against Indonesia and Malaysia by identical 0-3 margin.
Women’s team lost to Vietnam and Malaysia by the same margin.
Federation vice-president Saidul Haq Sadi blamed general secretary Khandoker Hasan Munir for the incident.
‘It happened because of careless attitude of the general secretary,’ said Sadi.
‘He was also traveling to China along with vice-president Jahangir Alam separately. If they had travelled with the team we could have avoided the mishap and performances of the players also would have been better,’ he said.
It should be mentioned that Munir broke his bank account to buy tickets for the players as the federation could not arrange any sponsor for the tournament.
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