The National Kabaddi Stadium next to the Bangladesh Olympic Bhaban turned into a scene of mayhem yesterday afternoon during women’s kabaddi final between BJMC and Bangladesh Ansar in the 8th Bangladesh Games. The match officials and a number of players from both sides got injured as the Ansar’s players, their male teammates from the gallery and some of their officials plunged on the scene and assaulted the match officials and players, protesting the refereeing, and turning the scene bloody.
And it all took place in front of the dignitaries of the games which included Bangladesh Olympic Association secretary general Syed Shahed Reza, Games’ steering committee chairman Harunur Rashid and Bangladesh Kabaddi Federation’s general secretary Nazrul Islam among others.
Tension was brewing throughout the match but the clash broke out right after the final whistle as BJMC won by 19-16 points.
According to the BJMC captain Shahin Ara Brishty, one of the Ansar players bit a BJMC player as the referee blew the final whistle which started the clash. The Ansar members from the gallery, along with the female players, attacked them and the referees violently while they tried to save themselves, said the BJMC captain.
But the Ansar skipper Shahnaz Parvin claimed the clash broke out because the umpires (Rafiqul Islam and Amjad Hossain) and referee Ajgar Ali deprived them of valid points. “They awarded a point to BJMC instead of us, which would have seen us level. We protested that but the referee didn’t hear instead he blew the final whistle with a few minutes left. When we protested this, the BJMC players attacked us,” claimed Shahnaz.
Umpire Rafiqul Islam, who received head injuries during the clash, said they had officiated the match fairly and the Ansar members attacked them out of frustration of losing.
However, according to Shahnaz and people close to this sport, this was a reaction to plenty of indignation from the Ansar players. The federation has always been partial towards the teams with more clout and refereeing has always been shameful in this sport where the more influential teams always get the rub of the green, they claimed.
“The referees are in collusion with the federation officials. The federation’s general secretary (Nazrul Islam) had lured three Ansar players to BJMC saying demeaning things about our organisation. The federation officials treat us badly. The general secretary was in a conspiracy to award this gold to BJMC,” blamed Shahnaz as she was leaving the scene of the mayhem along with her teammates protesting.
Nazrul however felt that refereeing was impartial and Ansar players could not keep their emotion in check. “This is an unwanted incident. However, fighting is a part of sport as it happens in other sports like football as well. But the refereeing was impartial,” said Nazrul.
BOA secretary general, who watched all this as the chief guest of the final match, said stern action should be taken against those involved after they receive a report from the federation’s disciplinary committee within three day.