Male chauvinism is evident in sports: Dipika Pallikal

Chennai: India`s top squash player Dipika Pallikal has joined the `male chauvinism` chorus started by tennis star Sania Mirza, and said that it has always existed in sports.

"It`s been very evident for long years. Not only Sania, Jwala (Gutta) also came on. Yes, there has always been male chauvinism in sports," Pallikal said.

Pallikal`s observation comes barely a few days after shuttler Jwala Gutta too supported Sania who accused that the All India Tennis Association`s handling of the Olympics selection reeked of male chauvinism.

In a letter to AITA after the team selection for the London Games, Sania wrote that it was "humiliating" to be used as a "bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis". She was referring to Leander Paes.

Sania`s letter has rekindled the debate of gender discrimination in sports with sportswomen like Jwala and Pallikal raising their voices. "Yes, I guess we have always showed it with our racquet or whatever sports we play, but it keeps coming back," Pallikal said.

Asked about Squash Racquets Federation of India`s surprise move to not send her nomination for the Arjuna Award, Pallikal said, "Recently, I only read it in the papers that my nomination for the Arjuna Award has been delayed. As an Indian athlete and a world number 15 sportsperson, I would love to be recognised by the government, and achieving something like Arjuna Award is a boost for all of us."

"I read in the papers that it was stopped, I don`t know for what reason. It saddened me a lot, why couldn`t I get an Arjuna Award," she added. The country`s No 1 squash player, Pallikal did the country proud by helping India win their maiden gold medal at the Asian Senior Squash Championship.