5 of the biggest feuds in Indian sporting history
4) Jwala Gutta vs Pullela Gopichand
The frosty relationship between India’s national badminton coach and the leading women’s doubles player has been a long running saga, so much so that they no longer speak to each other publicly.
The 33-year-old, who trains under veteran coach SM Arif, minces no words when speaking about Gopichand and has always maintained that he shows partiality to players who train in his academy in Hyderabad. The frayed relationship between them hit a new low in 2014 when Gutta and her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa were ignored for the felicitation programme for the successful badminton contingent in the Commonwealth games. Incidentally, Jwala and Ashwini had won the silver in douibles.
Gutta seethed, “We were not even informed about it while he (Gopichand) is supposed to be our chief national coach. He is supposed to include all, and not just a few of his favourites. It was evident that we wouldn't be called there.
Things have become so bitter that perhaps, even if we were invited, we wouldn't have gone.” She then went on to correct Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao at a public function when he credited Gopichand for coaching Jwala and other shuttlers. She insisted credit for coaching her be given to SM Arif.
The feud hit a new low in 2015, when Gutta and Ponnappa (then World No.13 in Doubles) were ignored funding under the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) while World No.43 Guru Sai Dutt was included.
An incensed Gutta raged, “Ashwini and I have achieved so much in our career, but have never gotten our due and it is just because of one person - Gopichand. We are World No. 13 now, but instead of supporting us, he is only pulling us down.” She further said, “We are not included in the TOP Scheme! Why? Just because we are not from Gopi's academy? Is it fair that Gurusai Datt's name is in TOP Scheme? I think Gopichand should step downa s national coach.”
Gopichand responded by insisting that Gutta had no moral standing to ask for his resignation.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 08:03 IST