Asian Games Indian Kabaddi team to face unselected players; match to be monitored by Delhi High Court
Asian Games 2018 was tragic for Indian Kabaddi as both men's and women's team failed to grab gold -- something which was completely contradictory to expectations. The men's team was upset by South Korea in the group stage and then also went on to lose their semi-final against Iran to settle for Bronze. This loss ended 28 years of Indian dominance in the sport at the Asiad. On the other hand, the women's team managed to get to the finals but lost to Iran to settle for silver after winning gold in the 2010 and 2014 editions.
Prior to this, the men's team had won the Asiad gold 7 times -- since the sport for introduced in the 1990 Beijing Asian Games, while the women had been winning the elusive yellow metal since it was introduced in 2010.
After this disappointing loss of Indian teams, there was controversy regarding the selection process that took place before the Games. Officials of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) faced allegations of wrongdoing in the selection of Asian Games teams.
Shortly after the teams for Asiad were announced, former Indian international kabaddi player Mahipal Singh marched to the Delhi High Court with allegations of bribery in the selection process. Since AKFI had already announced the Asian Games teams, the High Court decided that a match should take place to determine the veracity of the allegations after the Asian Games.
AKFI was ordered -- by a bench consisting of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao -- to conduct a selection process, commencing on 15th September.
A retired Delhi High Court Justice S P Garg and an officer sent by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) will monitor and oversee the proceedings of the selection.
The matches are slated to happen for the alleged selection wrongdoing. The game will be between the men's and women's players who represented India at the Asiad and the respective teams of those who were unpicked. There is additional pressure on the players which represented India at Asiad as it is left to their good conscience to play the match and they would not be forced to play it.
However, Advocate B S Nagar is of the opinion that a majority of players might back off from playing the match, giving alibi's, as they are afraid the team of unselected players might actually defeat them.
The date and time has been decided as 15th September and 11:00 am and the venue will be Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. As far as the selectors are concerned, three shall be appointed by the Secretary of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The entire selection process will be videographed and the recording thereof will be preserved by the Sports Association of India (SAI). A copy will be placed before the High Court as well. It will be really interesting to see how this match pans out.
Which teams do you think will win the upcoming match -- the ones which represented India at the Asiad or the unpicked ones? Do let us know your opinions in the comments section below.