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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jwala will stand up and fight the ban, says father

Jwala will stand up and fight the ban, says father

October 07, 2013 19:26 IST

Jwala will stand up and fight the ban, says father

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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 will seek legal recourse upon getting it, her father Kranti said in Hyderabad, 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 inaugural edition of the 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.


Image: Jwala Gutta
Photographs: Indian Badminton League

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Jwala does not need to apologise, says coach

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Talking about the incident, the shuttler's father said it is 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 does not need to apologise as no mistake had been committed by her and insisted that life ban is 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.


Image: Jwala Gutta
Photographs: Indian Badminton League

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'It is ridiculous. Life ban is too much'

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Throwing their weight behind an embattled Jwala, several former players also described the recommendation of a life ban on the star doubles player as "ridiculous and harsh".

"It is a very harsh decision. I think BAI could have dealt with it in a quieter way and not go to the press and defame her in this way," former national champion Arvind Bhat said.

"I don't know exactly what she said during the IBL match but whatever it is, life ban recommendation is too harsh.

"They could have just warned her. Moreover, she is the spokesperson of the Delhi team and as an icon player, she spoke on behalf of her team. It was a team decision."

India's top men's doubles players K T Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, who played for Pune Pistons in the IBL, also said it is ridiculous and will affect Indian badminton.

"It is ridiculous. Life ban is too much. Whatever delay happened in the match, I don't think Jwala is the only person who has to suffer for that. It was kind of unfair what happened at the last moment. Naturally, anyone who would have been in her place would have reacted," Rupesh said.

"It is a call which Jwala alone could not have taken, the franchise must have told her. It is weird why this matter has been taken to such an extent. Life ban doesn't make sense. It has been blown out of proportion," he added.


Image: Jwala Gutta
Photographs: Indian Badminton League

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'BAI is threatening her with a life ban to teach her a lesson'

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His men's doubles partner Sanave Thomas said: "I don't agree with this recommendation of life ban. I think she is such an experienced player, who has performed consistently
over the years. Along with V Diju and Ashwini Ponnappa, she has pulled off so many matches for India and life ban will be too harsh.

"Even if it is not a life ban and a six-month suspension then also it would be harsh," Thomas added.

According to insiders, who are in the know of events, it is not about the IBL match only, the recommendation shows BAI's vindictive nature and Jwala has been targetted for her past outburst against the BAI.

"IBL match is not the main issue. There are other things. Not everything is hunky dory in Indian badminton. There are people who are not happy with Jwala partnering Ashwini again and BAI is threatening her with a life ban to teach her a lesson," a source said.

Jwala, herself, has decided to stay mum but according to sources, she has not yet received any notice seeking her response on the recommendation.


Image: Jwala Gutta
Photographs: Indian Badminton League

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