While the Gopichand vs Gutta saga has been well-documented over the years. In a recent interview with Republic TV, Indian badminton player Jwala Gutta has slammed Badminton Federation of India (BFI) Chief coach Pullela Gopichand, accusing him of bias.
Recalling the unsavory incident, where she was given then axe, right after securing gold with Ashwini Ponnappa at the Commonwealth Games women's doubles event. Gutta voiced her displeasure over the unfair treatment and wished that the doubles players received the same support and the encouragement which is profusely showered on the singles exponents these days.
“Singles players have been doing well. Srikanth (Kidambi Srikanth) is doing well, Sindhu (PV Sindhu), Saina (Saina Nehwal) have obviously been doing well. I just wish that the supports extend towards doubles and the attitude towards double changes. In Commonwealth Games, we won gold. If not for doubles, we won’t have won that. The association...the coaches who are coaching them regularly should speak up,” said the ace badminton player.
The former world no.6 also pointed has also out that the coaches and badminton federation had important role to play in this bias treatment of players, and insists their attitude needs to change for the betterment of the sport in the country.
“Obviously, there is bias, they are biased. How do you call yourself a badminton powerhouse if doubles not doing as well, it’s just the singles player. When you are a chief coach, you can not have bias... The attitude of the badminton family needs to change their attitude, then we can expect something from other people who are looking at us. If they will have the sad attitude towards doubles, I don’t think anything will change,” said Gutta.
Gutta has demanded for a separate body for the doubles player so that they can get the requisite support. The Indian doubles ace has recently been included in the Badminton Association of India (BAI)’s coaches panel and will be focussing on the growth and development of doubles players in India. Now, as the premier doubles exponent enters a new phase of her career, here’s hoping her vast experience can bring about the change she was always looking for and take the doubles contingent to greater heights.
However, when Republic TV reached out to Pullela Gopichand, he said he doesn’t want to react on this.