New Delhi: 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, 2018, was completely misinterpreted by the petitioners from the rival New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI).
The NKFI had conducted its 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 Indian men lost to Iran in the semifinals of the Asian Games and had to end up with a bronze after winning gold in all the seven previous editions once the sport was introduced in 1990. Iran also dashed the Indian eves' hopes of a hat-trick triumph in the quadrennial event as they scored a thrilling 27-24 win in the final to complete a double.
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 of any national teams 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 that we came for trials, but the 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 trials where girls from all age groups competed in front of observer Justice S P 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," was his reply.
"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.