Asian Games-bound equestrian riders' training halted over unpaid salary
The French coach in charge of the Indian equestrian team has stopped receiving his payments and so has stopped the training of two probable riders.
Lack of funds has halted training of two Indian equestrian riders Indian Army’s Major Apurva Dabhade and Daffadar Vikas Kumar. The two, training in France since June 15, are currently without access to their horses as the national team coach has stopped working because of not receiving his salary.
Coach Rodolphe Scherer, who has been working with the Indian riders for a long time, has stopped receiving his payments from the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI). He had previously stated his intention to stop working if his unpaid dues were not cleared.
Major Apurva Dabhade, one of the riders worst affected by this, has approached the Sports Ministry and the national federation for immediate intervention.
In his letter to SAI and EFI, he wrote: "After the 30th of July, due to a lack of fund disbursement, our esteemed national coach, Mr. Rodolphe Scherer, had no choice but to halt the national coaching camp. This pause in our training regimen has had a significant impact on the progress of both Maj Apurva Dabhade and Dfr Vikas Kumar, who are valued members of the Indian Army."
He mentioned that in the past 10 days, they have not been able to engage with their horses, leased to them by Scherer, making it very challenging for them to maintain their training regimen without the continued support of government agencies.
“Considering the Asian Games are merely a month and a half away, every day lost to this impasse hampers our preparations. Your prompt assistance in this matter is crucial, and we are confident that with your support, we can swiftly overcome this setback and continue our journey towards the Asian Games,” he wrote.
The EFI confirmed to PTI that the French coach has indeed not been paid his salary.
“With the help of the government, we had planned a two-month camp for our riders. We paid the coach for one month after receiving payment from the ministry, but since we have not got payment for the second month, we could not make payment to the coach. We are a financially weak Sports Federation, arranging funds has been a challenge. Individuals have to make arrangements. If we specifically help two riders, the nine others, who are civilians, will raise questions,” EFI Secretary General Colonel Jaiveer Singh told PTI.