Jwala unleashes tirade against P Gopichand
Badminton player Jwala Gutta has accused former All England champion and coach Pullela Gopichand of showing discrimination towards those players not belonging to his coaching academy in selection and other related matters. Speaking to The Hans India on Saturday, Jwala,
Accuses the coach of favouritism
Badminton player Jwala Gutta has accused former All England champion and coach Pullela Gopichand of showing discrimination towards those players not belonging to his coaching academy in selection and other related matters. Speaking to The Hans India on Saturday, Jwala, who is taking part in the Inter State Zonal Championship that is being held at the Vijayawada Club, said, “There present badminton setup is not democratic.
Not all players have the opportunity to display their talents. Gopichand is cleverly manipulating things to promote his disciples in the game. There is a clear discrimination against me and several other talented players. The majority of the players being selected for major tournaments in the country and abroad are from the Gopichand Badminton Academy. It is as if there is a dearth of talent in the country.”
Continuing her tirade, she said, “Gopichand is a chief coach and president of the Badminton Players Association. Presently, he holds two key posts, which is against the set norms. It is illegal and unethical. How can a chief coach be the president of a players association? He also holds several other posts, including chief of the selection committee and secretary of Telangana State Badminton Association. How can one juggle so many key posts at one time?”
“I am labeled a ‘rebel’ for questioning what is wrong in the setup. Though many players want to raise the issue, they are afraid of speaking out. In the present setup, there is one set of rules for the Gopichand’s favourite players and another set of rules for his non-favourites, which is nothing but a gross injustice to sports talent. The benefits and other incentives being offered by the government to promote the game are not reaching the players,” she said.
Explaining how she and Ashwini Ponnappa were isolated in national tournaments, Jwala said, “At the national camp held at Bengaluru, Ashwini and I were not coached by a separate individual, nor did we have our own physiotherapist and other support staff, even though only 10 players attended it.
Whereas eight coaches and a good number of physiotherapists and other support staff were offered when as many as 60 players attended the national camp held at Hyderabad. It was nothing but discrimination against us.” “The Badminton Association is Gopichand’s puppet.
Considering my stature in the field instead of taking my participation for granted, the association approached me saying, ‘We heard you are interested in playing the nationals. We came to know it through print media.’ Now, I have decided not to play the nationals. Instead, I will concentrate on my career and participate in the German and All England Badminton Championships,” said Jwala, adding that she would retire two years later.
By:Ch Sowmya Sruthi