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AKFI and state Kabaddi bodies wash hands over Saharanpur food-on-toilet incident | More sports news

NEW DELHI: The national Kabaddi Federation on Wednesday washed its hands of the incident in which players at a state-level tournament were fed food from a toilet, saying it was in no way involved in organizing the girls’ event in UP’s saharanpur.
The kabaddi players those participating in the U-16 event were served food kept in a restroom, prompting authorities to suspend the district sports official for laxity and blacklist the caterer.
The incident caused a furore as politicians condemned the poor treatment of the players.

“The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) has no role in the organization of the tournament. It was purely a government related event of Uttar Pradesh. They (organizers) have made their own arrangement,” SP Garg, the Delhi Supreme Court-appointed administrator who has headed AKFI since 2018, told PTI.
When asked how a state level tournament can take place without the sanction of the national federation, he said: “We are not involved in the organization of the tournament in any way. Humara koi lene dena nahin hey (we are not concerned about that ). We had no information (about the tournament).”
UP State Kabaddi Association secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh said the tournament was not sanctioned by the AKFI, nor by the state unit. He said the event was not on the annual calendar.
“The tournament was organized by the state government’s sports department. Our role was to provide only the technical support. We sent some officials to lead the event and the selection committee, nothing else,” Singh said.

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“We have state level events such as open championships. This event (U-16 girls tournament in Saharanpur) was not in our annual events calendar.”
He said the state government is taking strict action and a commission of inquiry will take feedback from players from each of the 16 divisions (mandals) that participated in the tournament.
An alleged 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, where kabaddi players took it themselves.
From September 16 to 18, the kabaddi tournament for sub-junior girls was held, in which more than 300 players participated.
The incident has been criticized, with the ruling BJP’s Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi asking whether Indian sport should be purged of politicians and their representatives.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took a swipe, asking how Indian athletes would win gold in the Olympics if treated this way.
While the RLD called it a “gross insult” to the players, Congress accused the ruling BJP of spending millions of rupees on false publicity.
Additional Chief Secretary (Sports) Navneet Sehgal had told PTI that Saharanpur District Sports Officer Animesh Saxena had been suspended on Monday.



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