In a shocking incident, India’s national badminton head coach Pullela Gopichand along with top Indonesian coaches like Agus Dwi Santoso and Namrith Suroto and 700 other coaches were unknowingly part of an embarrassing moment on Friday as the online badminton session of these coaches was reportedly hacked. The video conferencing was then purportedly infiltrated with pornographic content.
It is worth highlighting that the Badminton Associaton of India (BAI) as well as the Sports Authority of India (SAI), organised the 21-day session owing to the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Several media reports are also claiming that some children, as well as parents, were also online during the video conferencing proceedings. The issue has left coaches including Gopichand annoyed.
“Santoso, the new Indonesian coach, was the resource person when pictures started appearing on the screen. There was a momentary gap and then the images resurfaced. This happened a number of times,” a participant told the Times of India.
“We should have heeded the home ministry’s advice. There are so many other platforms. What if something similar happens during online classes by schools?” asked another coach.
“In one such online workshop which was being held for badminton coaches on Thursday afternoon, there was a sudden technical malfunction leading to some unwanted material popping up on the screen. The session was being conducted by a senior coach of the Badminton Association of India, who also had the online technical control of the session,” the statement released by SAI said.
“SAI’s IT department is investigating the issue in detail. However, it is clear that the Zoom session was not hacked,” the statement added.
“The Sports Authority of India, in association with national sporting federations, is hosting online knowledge development workshop for coaches in 16 disciplines. So far all sessions have functioned smoothly, with 500-700 coaches from across the country participating in the workshops per session,” an official statement from SAI, Bengaluru, said.
The video platform Zoom is being severely criticised for compromising on the security of its users. Earlier, the Indian government had even advised people against using the platform.