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Asian Games

Asian Games Kabaddi: What happened in India vs Iran final match?

The Asian Games 2023 men's Kabaddi final between India and Iran was suspended after a controversy broke out near the end.

Asian Games Kabaddi: What happened in India vs Iran final match?

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Oct 2023 12:36 PM GMT

The Indian men's Kabaddi team won the gold medal with a 33-29 win over Iran at the Asian Games 2023, but not before a controversy. The match was temporarily suspended after a controversial raid involving the Indian skipper Pawan Sehrawat was not awarded to India.

The high-octane final between the two teams turned ugly at the fag end.

What happened exactly?

With less than 90 seconds remaining on the clock, Pawan Sehrawat went into a do-or-die raid with the scores tied at 28-28. While raiding, Pawan went out of the bounds into the lobby without touching any defender of Iran.

As Pawan went into the lobby, four Iranian defenders came to dash. Iran was awarded a point as Pawan went out, but the Indian team started protesting the decision.

After a review, the TV umpires and the on-court umpire ruled it in favour of India giving four points to India and one to Iran. The Iranian team started protesting after this move.

The on-court umpire as well as TV umpires started reviewing their decision again, and all the commotion turned ugly with Indian coaches Sanjiv Baliyan and E Bhaskaran getting involved.

Despite the secretary general of the Asian Kabaddi Federation trying to calm everyone down, the situation only flared up.

Eventually, the original ruling was changed, once again, it went in India’s favour. But Iranian players sat in the middle of the court in protest.

It was then the match was suspended indefinitely. When it resumed, India was awarded three points while Iran got one. India would eventually win the final 33-29 and clinch the gold medal.

What does the rule say?

Rule 28 of the International Kabaddi Federation says: If a defender or defenders who has/have touched the ground outside the boundary (as per rule 5), hold a raider, the raider will be declared NOT OUT. The defender or defenders who have gone out of bounds only will be declared out.

The defender here is Iran’s Amirhossein Bastami and the decision made at last was three points awarded to India and one to Iran.

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