Mumbai: The final day of the Mumbai leg of Pro Kabaddi League season seven saw controversy as the winless Telugu Titans played out a thrilling 20-20 tie with UP Yoddha.
With the match tantalisingly poised at 19-19, Titans’ Siddharth Desai went in for the last raid of the match, which incidentally, was a do-or-die raid. With the out-of-form Desai being put under pressure, UP Yoddha shot themselves in the foot when left corner Sumit lost his balance and stumbled out of the mat to give Titans the point and a much-needed first win of Pro Kabaddi League season seven.
However, in bizarre turn of events, the referees awarded Yoddha a technical point on the grounds that Titans captain Abozar Mohajermighani entered the mat from the bench to celebrate with his team before the referees had blown the final whistle. The Titans reviewed the decision but to no avail as the referees stuck by their call.
Speaking after the match, Yoddha coach Jasveer Singh defended the referees’ decision to penalise the Titans and said, “They became too excited and their team and coach walked on to the mat before the referee blew the whistle. I think this is a fair result.”
On asked for his thoughts on the bizarre turn of events, Yoddha’s Rishank Devadiga chose to be diplomatic. “I think it was the referee’s decision and you have to follow their decision. But even I wasn’t aware of what transpired. In the end, the technical point was in our favour so I am happy with it,” he said.
Titans’ coach Gholamreza Mazandarani slammed the refereeing and blamed them for depriving the Titans of the win. The Iranian had a wry smile as he walked in for the post-match press conference 10 minuted after the end of the Yoddha’s interaction. “I think everyone saw what happened. It was the referee’s mistake and nobody else’s. We got the point in the end and it was Abozar’s time to be revived so he went inside. Even the cameraman was inside the mat. But the referee decided to award them a technical point,” the Iranian said after the match.
Even if the final whistle hadn’t been blown, the referee had awarded the Titans a point which led to Abozar being revived. That the Iranian had the right to be inside the mat given he was next in line to be revived is a given, but the referees’ decision to award the Yoddha a technical point is unfair if not utterly ridiculous.
In normal circumstances, it is routine for revived players to come onto the mat as soon as their teammates win a point without any repercussions. Often raiders go for raids before the referees can signal for it to start. By penalising the Titans, the referees were being inconsistent with their own standard practices and robbed the Hyderabad-based franchise of a deserved win.
Pro Kabaddi has become the second-most followed sporting league in India after the Indian Premier League on the back of brilliant performances from the players. It is high time that the refereeing standards match up to it.
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Updated Date: Aug 03, 2019 12:18:20 IST