Lookback 2023: Controversies that shocked the sporting world

By Lokmat English Desk | Published: December 18, 2023 01:47 PM2023-12-18T13:47:43+5:302023-12-18T13:48:30+5:30

Wrestlers Protest At Delhi's Jantar Mantar India's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshee Malikkh and Bajrang Punia, gathered at ...

Lookback 2023: Controversies that shocked the sporting world | Lookback 2023: Controversies that shocked the sporting world

Lookback 2023: Controversies that shocked the sporting world

Wrestlers Protest At Delhi's Jantar Mantar

India's top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshee Malikkh and Bajrang Punia, gathered at the iconic Jantar Mantar in Delhi in January to protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations levelled against him. The grapplers demanded the resignation of the WFI chief and his arrest.Brij Bhushan Singh, who is also a BJP MP from Kaiserganj, refuted the allegations that he sexually harassed several women wrestlers and said he would be ready to hang himself if he was found guilty. The wrestlers demanded that Brij Bhushan Singh should undergo a narco test and the WFI chief agreed to it. However, he set a condition that even grapplers should also undergo the same test. The wrestlers threatened to immerse their hard-earned medals in Haridwar due to inaction against the WFI chief, but decided against it after intervention by farmer leaders.The protest garnered worldwide attention as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called the treatment of Indian wrestlers by the police ‘very disturbing’ and for a speedy investigation against Brij Bhushan Singh. Even the World Wrestling body, United World Wrestling (UWW) condemned the action taken against the wrestlers. The Wrestling body asked for a 45-day deadline for elections to select a new WFI administration and a failure to do so, may lead to a suspension. However, delays continued from the WFI end and UWW finally suspended the Indian body which meant that the Indian wrestlers (barring the ones who are protesting) were to use a neutral flag at the 2023 World Wrestling Championships.

Angelo Mathews Timed-Out

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews was ontroversially given "timed out" in a World Cup clash against Bangladesh, becoming the first man to suffer the dismissal in the 146-year history of international cricket.The former captain took more than two minutes to take strike and opposition skipper Shakib Al Hasan appealed, which was upheld by the on-field umpire. Mathews came into bat after the fall of Sadeera Samarawickrama in the 25th over but was unable to secure his helmet strap tightly enough, an action which delayed the resumption of play. Following the Bangladesh appeal, the umpires held a lengthy discussion with the players including Mathews. They ruled Mathews to be out and the 36-year-old veteran reluctantly trudged off with most spectators appearing bemused by the decision

Asian Games: Indian men’s Kabaddi Final (India vs Iran)

The men’s kabaddi final between India and Iran took a dramatic turn right in the dying moments of the match at the Asian Games 2023.With just over a minute remaining, India’s Pawan Sehrawat went in for a do-or-die raid with scores level at 28-28. Pawan went out of bounds without making contact with any Iranian defenders. During the raid, right before the attempt to dash him out was made, Amirhossein Bastami stepped out of the mat, therefore ruling out his ability to tackle the opposition’s raider. He stepped back, knowing the rule. Four other defenders tried to nudge Pawan out of the mat on the right flank. Officials initially gave a point each to India and Iran - India benefiting from Bastami stepping out and Iran benefitting from Pawan going out of bounds. The resulting argument ended in the final being suspended with players sitting on the mat in protest. India’s coach, E Bhaskaran and captain Pawan were seen furiously arguing with referees and the jury panel, with general confusion about the rules in play. Eventually, the game resumed, after a delay of over an hour, and India won gold courtesy a 33-29 win over Iran.

Luis Rubiales ban

Global governing body of football, FIFA,  banned former Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales from all activities related to the sport for 3 years. The ousted chief was found guilty of misconduct during the Women's World Cup earlier this year where he forcibly kissed a Spanish player on the lips during the World Cup trophy ceremony in Sydney.A disciplinary committee was formed to inquire into the incident and FIFA did not publish the details of the verdict. Luis Rubiales faced charges relating to “basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute. ”Spain defeated England 1-0 in the closely-fought final in Sydney but the Rubiales's behaviour took the spotlight away from the national team's historic achievement. Rubiales remained defiant and did not acknowledge misconduct for weeks as he held on to his job. However, he resigned from the top jobs in Spanish football after increased pressure from the Spanish government and the national team players.

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