The Indian sailing team returned from the Asian Games with its best medal haul since the 1982 edition. But the coaches who orchestrated the performance are yet to receive their dues. Three foreign coaches hired by the Yatching Association of India (YAI) for the Asian Games have claimed they are yet to be paid for their services. In separate emails and text messages to the YAI, coaches Alexandr Denisiuc, Jonas Warrer and Francesca Clapcich have sent multiple reminders regarding their outstanding payment, which totals to approximately Rs 19,06,000.
India’s sailing team won a silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Games, which concluded in Indonesia earlier this month. All the medal winners were coached by foreigners. Clapcich trained Shweta Shervegar and Varsha Gautam, the silver medalists in the 49er FX class; Warrer coached the bronze-winning team of Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy while Denisiuc played a role in 16-year-old Harshita Tomar clinching the bronze medal in the laser 4.7 class.
According to YAI’s proposal to the ministry, the three coaches were hired just for the Asian Games. Clapcich, Italy’s world championship medallist sailor, is due roughly Rs 7,92,000 for her 19-day service. Warrer, who won a gold medal for Denmark at the 2008 Olympics in the 49er class, is owed Rs 6,72,000 for his 16-day stint, while Moldavian coach Denisiuc, who was with the team for 17 days, has claimed he is yet to receive his fees of Rs 4,42,000. The YAI was forced to hire the services of these coaches on a stop-gap basis after former chief coach Ian Warren resigned in June citing interference from the federation while another coach, Jyrki Jarvi also quit in the same month. The proposal to hire their replacements – Denisiuc was already appointed – was made in July but there was no clarification as to who will pay their fees.
A YAI official said they raised the issue with the government multiple times. However, the official was informed by the sports ministry on Thursday that they will not bear the expenses for the foreign coaches. “We have been told that the ministry has not approved the payment for coaches. Instead, they have said the federation should bear the expenses,” the official said. “If they did not intend to hire them, they should have intimated us before the Games. The ministry had approved our proposal initially.”