We will fight, says Jwala Gutta`s father

Hyderabad: Shuttler Jwala Gutta has not yet received any official communication from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on the reported move to impose life ban on her, but she would seek legal recourse upon getting it, her father Kranti said here on Monday.

"She (Jwala) is going to stand up and we will fight out the case," he said at a press conference, where her coach S M Arif and Clean Sports India National Coordinator B V P Rao expressed solidarity with her.

In a surprise decision, the BAI`s disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on Jwala for trying to stop some players of her franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers from playing a match against Banga Beats in the recent Indian Badminton League.

A controversy had erupted during the August 25 tie when Delhi Smashers threatened to pull out against Banga Beats over the last-minute replacement of injured singles player, Hu Yun of Hong Kong with Denmark`s Jan Jorgensen.

Talking about the incident, the shuttler`s father said it was absurd to blame Jwala as the delay in starting the match was not caused by her.

Arif, a renowned coach, wondered how Jwala be singled out for disciplinary action and the team management is left out.

"At 7.15, the team was given and 8 o`clock the match is to be started. Just before 8, the opponents had changed the team. When they had changed the team, then naturally, she was advised, being the captain of the side, by the sponsors from Delhi not to field the team.

"As the captain, she had to follow the rules and regulations of the sponsors because they are responsible for the team. She has taken an action by getting the signatures of all the players that they will not be getting on to the court unless it is solved. Ultimately, it was delayed. But how can she be singled out for the disciplinary action. If they have to ask anything, they could ask the sponsors," Arif said.

The coach said Jwala did not need to apologise as no mistake had been committed by her and insisted that life ban was imposed only when instances like violating the law of the land happens and in incidents of drug abuse.

B V P Rao said they would like to send across the message that sports bodies cannot be run like fiefdoms.

"This is an instance where it is not a simple disciplinary issue between an individual athlete and a federation. There are so many disciplinary issues going on between an athlete and federations.

"We generally do not get involved. But, prima facie, this is an issue where federation is trying to run the sport like the sport fiefdom. An international player is being victimised. We fully support Jwala in her fight to get justice, whether it is in courts, whether it will be in the government or Olympic family. We will be with her," he said.


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