Sports

Asian Games 2023: Indian Men's Kabaddi Team Stages Dramatic Mat Sit-in Protest, Halts Gold Medal Match Against Iran for One Hour

As per the lobby rule, if a raider steps out of bounds and a defender follows him to the lobby area, he (the defender) is also ruled out.

Advertisement

Indian Men's Kabaddi Team celebrating after winning Gold medal in Asian Games 2023 at Hangzhou.
info_icon

Controversy struck the Asian Games men's kabaddi summit clash between India and Iran on Saturday with players sitting on the mat in protest against the referee's decision, leading to heated arguments between the rival sides in Hangzhou. (Medal Tally | Full Coverage)

In scenes rarely seen on a kabaddi mat, play was held up for nearly one hour in the final match between the arch-rivals.

Iran had beaten India in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games final and the Pawan Sehrawat-led side exacted revenge eventually, winning Saturday's summit clash to regain the gold medal.

The controversy happened with just one minute left in the match and both sides were tied 28-28. Sehrawat was the raider then.

Advertisement

"When Pawan (Sehrawat) raided, he got self-out after stepping into the lobby area. While chasing him, four Iranians also entered the lobby area," coach Kavitha Selaraj told PTI.

The lobby areas are the strips on either side of the mat which are considered active only when contact has been made between the raider and a defender.

As per the lobby rule, if a raider steps out of bounds and a defender follows him to the lobby area, he (the defender) is also ruled out.

"Under International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) rules, the Indian team was to get four points and Iran one point, but the referees gave just one point each," Kavitha added.

Advertisement

India then asked for a video review, and after several minutes they won. But mayhem followed later as it was the turn of the Iranians to protest the referees who again changed the decision.

After that, the Indians sat on the mat for around one hour, holding up play.

"Finally, we got four points and Iran one with one minute left in the match. The score was 28-28 at that time," she added.

From 28-28, the scoreline became 32-29 and the match resumed and the remaining one minute was played.

India got one point in the remaining one minute and won 33-29 to win the gold.

This lobby rule was done away with in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) last year and a defender following a raider into the lobby is no longer eliminated. Only the raider is eliminated.

But the lobby rule still remains in the IKF rulebook.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement