India's ace shuttler Jwala Gutta on Monday welcomed Bombay High Court's observation that it is ethically wrong for chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand to run a private academy in Hyderabad.
The women's doubles player also questioned Gopichand Academy for collecting huge money from the budding players despite the fact that it came up on a government land and is funded by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
She told reporters here that the academy was running fully on commercial lines though it was the government which allotted land for it and was also giving the funds.
The 28-year-old alleged that only those who get coaching at the academy were being selected for the tournaments. "I know a player who was among the top five but was not sent to nationals because he is from LB Stadium," said Gutta.
Jwala supported Prajakta Sawant, who dragged Gopichand to court, alleging that Gopichand was "mentally harassing" her by not allowing her to participate in the All India National Coaching Camp in Hyderabad. The Mumbai shuttler alleged that Gopichand was out to ruin her career by promoting only those players who train at his academy.
Though a relative of Gopichand, Jwala never had good terms with him. She trains at LB Stadium here under former national chief coach Syed Mohammed Arif.
"Arif sir also had an opportunity to start an academy but he was never interested in turning badminton into commercial activity."
Jwala said the boys and girls from even middle class families were not in a position to afford playing badminton. She said the government should create the infrastructure to nurture the young talent. "Why should we pay money to private academies," she asked.
The doubles player hit hard at the Badminton Association of India (BAI), terming it a one-man show and said it was high time to set things right in the interest of the game.