Kabaddi team to prove its 'worth' on Sep 15

Kabaddi team to prove its 'worth' on Sep 15

Indian men’s Kabaddi team that finished third in the Jakarta Asian Games pose for a photograph with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Losing out on the gold for the first time in the history of the Asian Games isn’t the only disappointment the Indian men’s kabaddi team will have to endure as they will now have to prove their mettle in a post-event game to be held on September 15 at the Thyagaraja Stadium in New Delhi, confirmed sources.

There was massive fracas when the team for the quadrennial event was picked with a lot of well-known and experienced players being left out for the unheralded ones.

This raised concerns that there were malpractices by the Janardhan Singh Gehlot-led Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) and an opposite faction called the New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI) filed a petition in the New Delhi High Court to prove the same.

A host of internationals and Asian Games medal winners have formed an alternate team and have been training in Bengaluru for the last ten days.

Speaking exclusively to DH, general secretary of the NKFI MV Prasad Babu, a former India international, divulged that his side was not against the players and that he empathised with them but it was the administration that had to be held accountable.

“Our major point of contention is with the selection process and how experienced players were left out was shocking. That is when we decided to contest the issue and will fight it legally,” he said. “It could not be done before the Games as there were many technical issues and we did not want to cost the country a medal by prolonging the matter, hence we decided it was best to do it after the Games,” added Babu.

The match is expected to be held in full view of the media, administrators, IOA representatives and a judge to ensure there is no further foul play.

There were also reports that if the Asian Games team losses, they will, in all likelihood be stripped of any government benefits but will be allowed to keep their medals.

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