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National Games 2023: Services allege 'foul play' in men's water polo final

Ugly scenes ensued at the men's water polo final in the National Games 2023 as the Services team alleged technical officials of foul play during the penalty shootout.

National Games 2023: Services allege foul play in mens water polo final

Pritish Raj

Updated: 4 Nov 2023 2:47 PM GMT

Goa: Drama and chaos ensued at the men’s water polo final at the National Games on Saturday between Services and Maharashtra as the Services team alleged foul play in the penalty shootout.

In a fiercely contested final between both teams that finished 10-10 in the allotted time, drama broke out in the penalty shootout.

After the first two penalty throws, the Services camp started complaining about the Maharashtra goalkeeper Mandar Bhoir stepping out of the goalline before the scorer initiated his stickwork.

The Services camp continued to complain as the penalty shootout got more chaotic, and there was an ugly spat between the Services coach and technical officials.

In the last penalty throw, the Services refused to defend the goal, demonstrating their protest against the officials.

‘It was serious foul play’- Services camp

“The judge asked the goal judge to move away from the goalline and then allowed the goalkeeper to come forward. The goalkeeper’s movement narrowed the angle for our thrower,” one of the officials from the Services team told The Bridge.

He went on to allege that the same thing happened twice and that was why we didn't defend the last goal.

“This is the fault of the technical committee, and that is why we are protesting. Our coach was indicating that the goalkeeper has moved ahead,” he said.

“We don't know why the goal judge was removed and it has been frustrating for us,” he concluded.

However, the Maharashtra team was unfazed by the drama and celebrated their gold medal over the Services team.

“We think it was the right call and I don't think there was any favouritism,” the Maharashtra coach said after winning the match.

When this correspondent tried to reach out to the technical officials present at the venue, they refused to comment on the proceedings.

While Maharashtra won the gold medal, Services and Bengal took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

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