BDFA 'B' Division: Player faints, league put off

BDFA 'B' Division: Player faints, league put off

Lack of medical facilities at stadium exposed again

The lack of medical facilities at the Bangalore District Football Association (BDFA) came to the fore once again on Sunday after a player fainted during a match, forcing postponement of the ongoing ‘B’ Division league championship.

Goalkeeper Santosh Kumar W of Bangalore Mars fell unconcious on the ground in the 33rd minute of their tie against Royals due to the scorching afternoon heat. There was no medical personnel at the venue and he had to be taken to the hospital, with the match being halted.

Glaringly, the ambulance stationed at the stadium was non-functional. Later, the game was called off with the teams and the officials giving different versions. While one of the match officials said the teams refused to play, the clubs involved said the match was abandoned as the BDFA officials didn’t want to continue without a medical personnel in place, something they overlooked in the first place.

Saravana S, coach-cum-captain of Mars, slammed the BDFA officials for their inabililty to provide basic amenities to the players. “Santosh is fine now but that is not the point. There was an ambulance but there was no one to handle it. What is the point of having it in the first place,” he said, adding that the officials didn’t even care to visit the player at the hospital (St Philomena's Hospital).

Saravana said the situation could have been avoided had the stadium authorities watered the artificial pitch before the match. “When I questioned the S T Bhoopal, (honorary secretary, BDFA) about it, he didn’t have any answer, when I questioned the referee why didn’t they stop the match for a water break, they said we didn’t get any instructions from the officials,” Saravana added.

With regard to the abandonment of the match, the Mars skipper said it was the decision of the BDFA. “We didn’t refuse to play the match, we asked for the basic facilities to continue again but they purposely stopped the match saying, until and unless we have everything we will not start the match,” he claimed.

Bhoopal was unavailable for comment but BDFA later sent out a message to the media saying the league matches have been postponed to April 30 due to unavoidable circumstances. With the summer sun unrelenting, the idea of holding matches during the afternoon (2.00 pm kick-off) is questionable, that too without proper medical facilities in place.