Kabaddi players served food in toilet, Shikhar Dhawan took action against CM Yogi Adityanath and UP government
Kabaddi players participating in the Under-16 event were served food kept in the toilet, following which the officials suspended the District Sports Officer for negligence and blacklisting the caterer. Team India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan has also targeted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the UP government to take ‘necessary action’ while targeting this horrific incident.
Sharing a video of the incident, Dhawan tweeted, “Very disappointing to see Kabaddi players eating in the toilets in state level tournaments. I would request @myogiadityanath and @UPGovtSports to look into this and take necessary action.
The National Kabaddi Federation on Wednesday brushed off the incident where players in the state-level tournament were served food from toilets, saying it was in no way involved in the girls’ event in UP’s Saharanpur.
The incident created an uproar as politicians condemned the poor treatment meted out to the players. “The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) has no role in organizing the tournament. This was totally an incident related to the Uttar Pradesh government. They (organizers) have made their own arrangements,” SP Garg, the Delhi High Court-appointed administrator who has been running the AKFI since 2018, told news agency PTI.
When asked how a state-level tournament can take place without the approval from the national federation, he said, “We are not involved in any way in organizing the tournament. Hamara koi lene lane nahi hai (we have nothing to do with it). We had no idea (about the tournament).”
UP State Kabaddi Association secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh said that neither the AKFI nor the state unit had sanctioned the tournament. He said the event was not in his annual calendar. “The tournament was organized by the sports department of the state government. Our role was only to provide technical support. We sent some officials to conduct the organizing and selection committee, and nothing else,” said Singh.
“We have our state level events like open championships. This event (U-16 girls’ tournament in Saharanpur) was not in our annual calendar.
He said that the state government was taking strict action and an inquiry committee would take feedback from the players of each of the 16 mandals (mandals) participating in the tournament. A purported video of the incident that surfaced on social media showed that cooked food was kept in the toilet of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium in Saharanpur, from where the kabaddi players themselves used to take it.
The State Level Sub-Junior Girls Kabaddi Tournament was held from 16 to 18 September in which more than 300 players participated. The incident drew criticism, with the ruling BJP’s Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi asking whether Indian sports should be freed from politicians and their representatives.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took a jibe and asked how Indian sportspersons would win gold in the Olympics if they were treated like this.