Indian Judiciary set to oversee Kabaddi match to ensure fair selection process

As per the Delhi High Court order last month, the Indian Judiciary will be an audience at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday to witness and oversee a Kabaddi match following the debacle of the Indian Kabaddi team at the Asian Games.

The match will be between players who were picked for the games and those that were not. The court order came after a petition was filed by former Indian international player Mahipal Singh who levelled allegations of bribery in the Asian Games selection process against officials of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI).

According to an Indian Express report, advocate for the petitioner, B.S. Nagar, said while talking about the match, “The game will be between the men and women players who represented India at the Asian Games and those who were not picked. They will be from those who attended the national camp. It (the order) doesn’t say that the people who were part of the Asian Games team have to compulsorily participate, but it is left to the good conscience of the players.”

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Nagar suspects that Indian players might come up with excuses for not participating in the game. He is reported to have said, “On August 31, the players said that this upcoming match is affecting their reputation and that they are injured and what not. They were trying to delay it (the match), saying that it isn’t their fault anyway. They (the Asian Games teams) are afraid that the unknowns might beat them.”

In a judgment in August, the Court had ordered the AKFI to conduct a free and fair selection process in accordance with the National Sports Code of India. However, following concerns raised by the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) that any changes to the squad could disrupt preparations and jeopardize the team’s participation in the event, the Court agreed to settle for trials after the games.

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