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Former CWG champions question Indian boxing's obsession with foreign coaches

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Former CWG champions question Indian boxing's obsession with foreign coaches

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Commonwealth Games stalwarts Akhil Kumar and Moraad Ali Khan have questioned the Indian sporting authority's obsession to prefer foreign coaches. Akhil Kumar has also questioned why the foreign coaches are not employed at a junior level and why are they given the senior team directly.

Former Indian boxer, Akhil Kumar, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne criticized the Indian sporting authorities for discriminating between foreign and Indian coaches. While he hasn't been against appointing foreign coaches he has expressed his irritation with the difference in pay scale and the importance given to the foreigners in the support staff. Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, he has also questioned why the foreign coaches are only appointed at the senior level.

“If the foreign coaches are so good then why are they not employed at the sub-junior level? If they are so good, let them shape youngsters. Why are finished products handed to them? If I come into the national camp after winning the national title, am I not an almost finished product given to them?” former boxer Akhil Kumar was quoted saying by TOI. 

One of only five Indian boxers to have claimed a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, Akhil also stated that the authorities don’t bother about the difficulty in communication the players might face. He also expressed his opinion that some coaches might not understand the sporting culture of the country and might not be well-qualified. 

“In India, we have this tendency to run after foreign coaches without even knowing how qualified or well-informed they are about the country’s sporting culture. We get impressed with their style and language. We never bother to check with athletes whether they are comfortable communicating with these coaches, or whether they are facing any difficulty. I am not against hiring foreign coaches but it should not be at the expense of your own good talent (domestic coaches),” the 37-year-old opined. 

Moraad Ali Khan, who won a gold medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, expressed similar opinions. He went on to express his disappoinment about the difference in treatment between Indian and foreign coaches. 

“I was asked before the 2010 CWG to coach Indian shooters. I said ‘I will do it if there’s no racist attitude'. Why should a foreign coach be paid more than an Indian coach of the same calibre? Why this discrimination?” Moraad Ali Khan said.

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