Controversy strikes senior national men’s kabaddi camp

16th Asian Games - Day 14: Kabaddi (Image courtesy: Getty Images)
16th Asian Games - Day 14: Kabaddi (Image courtesy: Getty Images)
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Navneet Singh

Controversy strikes senior national men’s kabaddi camp as experienced coach Kishan Kumar Hooda has quit due to infighting among coaches. E. Bhaskaran and Ashan Kumar are the other two coaches in the national camp held in preparation for the postponed 2022 Asian Games.

Hooda, Kumar and Bhaskaran were in charge of the first phase of the camp conducted in March. According to sources, Hooda was upset with Kumar and Bhaskaran on the selection of players and decided to quit last week.

Hooda, however, denied that the difference of opinion with the other two coaches was the main reason for quitting. Instead, he opted to attribute it to personal reasons.

“I’ll not be available for future national camps,” was all Hooda told Sportskeeda.

According to Justice SP Garg (retired), administrator of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), Hooda’s quitting the national camp will not impact elite men’s preparation in future as the Asian Games have been postponed.

“Hooda was basically appointed for the preparation of the Asian Games, which have been postponed now,” the administrator said. “For the third phase of the camp to be organized shortly, there are two coaches. Moreover, the list has been pruned to 24 players.”

While AKFI shortlisted as many as 42 players for the first phase of the camp, the list was pruned down to 24 for the second phase that concluded last week at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex.

The second phase of the women’s camp also concluded last week at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the Indian men's team won bronze, while the women's team got silver.

Since the 2022 Asian Games have been postponed, the proposed third phase of the camp for both the elite men and women’s groups will be announced shortly.

“To give exposure to the elite players, we want to continue with the national camps," the administrator of the AKFI said.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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