Confusion reigned supreme at the trials conducted by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), with a rival association’s players turning up for a match that was never scheduled against the Indian squads.
Neither the men’s nor the women’s national team came for the trials as it came to light that a Delhi High Court’s order dated August 2, was misinterpreted by the petitioners from the rival New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI).
The NKFI had conducted their own trials in Bengaluru last month and selected the men’s and women’s squads with an eye on a trial match against the national teams that took part in the Asian Games.
The NKFI’s allegation is that there has been rampant malpractices with regards to selection of the Indian teams for Jakarta Asian Games.
The Delhi High Court order clause 9 (i) states: “The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India – respondent no 4 shall conduct a selection process which shall commence from 15th September, 2018 at 11 am.”
There was no mention that national teams are required to take part in the trial process.
When the petitioner’s lawyer Bharat Nagar was asked that nowhere in the court order it is stated that senior India teams need to come for selection trials, he replied: “Well that’s an interpretation. We will submit our prayer that we came for trials but Indian team didn’t turn up.”
When asked that since it was only mentioned trials, why did the players of the rebel body (NKFI), who got all kitted up, not compete against other aspirants, the advocate said: “But we had come here to play the national team.”
It was a sorry sight for all those players whom NKFI had roped in promising a trial. In fact, it was learnt that most of the players who had come under the rebel association’s banner have not been part of national camp for a long time.
As it eventually panned out, the AKFI, following court orders, conducted an open trial where girls from all age groups competed in front of observer Justice SP Garg.
There was only one AKFI office-bearer, assistant secretary Deoraj Chaturvedi, who was present and he ran for cover when scribes asked him about the manner in which trials were being conducted.
“Why are the trials being conducted?” he was asked and he replied: “I am only following the Honourable Court’s Order,” Chaturvedi replied.
When asked what exactly is the Court Order, his answer was even more baffling. “I don’t know what the Court’s order is. You people please read it,” he replied. “Please leave me as I am a paid employee. My post is that of assistant secretary but I am a salaried employee. My job was to get referees and look after arrangements and I have done that,” Chaturvedi said.
When asked what will happen when these U-16 and U-19 girls win their matches, his answer was: “I don’t know”.