Muggeridge makes plain her displeasure

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The Independent Online
England's leading international women's player, Joanne Muggeridge, has written a letter of complaint to the Badminton Association of England's chief executive, Geoffrey Snowden, about her removal from the national training squad.

Muggeridge claims the England manager, Steve Baddeley, is jeopardising her future in English badminton by refusing to include her in the squad and declining to fund her to tournaments. An argument between her and Baddeley on Friday ended with her pouring a can of Coke over the manager's head.

The Kent player alleges that she has been unfairly treated; that injuries had prevented her from playing in British Grand Slam tournaments, but that she is now back to fitness.

"The question of my fitness is not in doubt," Muggeridge said. "I have recently returned from a trip to the Indian Open where I reached the semi- finals. I have played badminton for eight years for my country. I am unable to fund myself without the support of the BA of E, so it is easy for them to have total control over my career. As a professional player, my only concern is to play for my country," she said.

She accused Baddeley of being unfair and uncooperative, and added: "I will be writing a letter of complaint."

Muggeridge is especially concerned that her removal from the elite squad will lose her the chance to benefit from substantial sums of money likely to come into the game shortly through lottery funding.

Baddeley said that he was asking Muggeridge's training to be monitored by the national coach, Asger Madsen.

"If she does this and if there is an improvement, then she could be put back into the squad," Baddeley said. "We are not doubting her ability. She could be in the world's top 20."