Two teenage Kabaddi players, permission for whose participation in the Junior World Kabaddi Championship (boys) the authorities had withdrawn on account of “minor injuries”, have been allowed by the Delhi High Court to represent India in the tournament in Iran.
The high court said the opportunity to play in the world cup is something which every player looks forward to in their sporting career.
Both the players are in their late teenage and a decision to not send them to represent India, that too at such a late stage, without proper grounds, would be “demoralising” not only to them but also to the team as a whole, it said.
Justice Prathiba M Singh allowed the petition of 17-year-old Rohit Kumar and 19-year-old Narender, and asked the administrator of Kabaddi body AKFI and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to take immediate steps for getting the requisite documentation in place and take all necessary steps for enabling the petitioners to travel to Iran with the team.
The world cup is scheduled between February 26 and March 5 in Iran’s Urmia.
“Considering that these players are part of the junior team which has been selected by respondent no.2 (Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India), they may not even qualify in future to be participating in the junior team inasmuch as they may be age barred owing to the fact that one of the petitioners is 17 years of age and the other is 19 years of age,” the high court said.
It said the prescriptions for both the players are identical and do not inspire the confidence of the court.
“Even post the injury and rest for a few days, they have undergone the requisite training and coaching. The petitioners have also recovered as per the doctor who has suggested only gradual training. Both the petitioners are present in court along with their fathers who are willing to send them to participate in the world cup,” the court noted.
It said, “The petitioners having been selected for the world cup, in this background, this court is of the opinion that the petitioners ought to be permitted to participate and represent India in the Junior World Championship (Boys), in Iran. Ordered accordingly.”
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The petitioners’ case was that they were trained at the coaching camp organised by the SAI from January 23 to February 12 and, on February 9, during practice at the SAI camp, they suffered minor injuries.
While Rohit suffered an injury on the wrist, Narender was hurt around his abdomen, and they got their medical check-up done by a doctor from SAI.
As per the prescription, the petitioners were advised review after ten days and after the review, they were sent to the training camp in Thyagaraj stadium here and have undergone training.
However, the petitioners said, suddenly, on February 21, a medical test was conducted by the SAI after which they were informed by their coach the next day thy will not be joining the Junior World Championship (Boys) team.
Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the two players, submitted they are in proper health, without any injury, and they have been coached and trained for the world cup.
It is just on the eve of their departure for the world cup in Iran that they received such an information, he said.
According to the petitioners, AKFI is currently being administered by retired Justice S P Garg, who was not informed about the two being dropped from the team.
The SAI counsel said in view of the injury that the petitioners have suffered and to ensure that there is no permanent injury and the players are duly rested, the doctor had suggested that they be not taken to the world cup this year.