"Jagbir was not supposed to be officiating my match" — Wrestler Satender claims innocence after slapping referee
Wrestler Satender Malik speaks to The Bridge about his referee-slapping controversy and facing a subsequent lifetime ban by WFI.
Indian wrestler Satender Malik is in the news off late regarding the lifetime ban handed to him by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). This controversy arose after he allegedly assaulted a referee named Jagbir Singh during the Commonwealth Games trials.
Malik was subsequently given a lifetime ban by the WFI President that rendered him ineligible to compete in future competitions and events. The Bridge caught up with Satender Malik to hear his side of the story regarding the ongoing controversy.
"What you see in the viral video on Twitter is my side of the story. I have done nothing wrong and will continue to claim my innocence in this matter," Satender Malik refers to the video of him approaching the referee's dias at the Commonwealth Trials where the scuffle with Jagbir Singh began.
The wrestler maintains that the referee was the one who instigated the assault before abusing him verbally.
"He (Jagbir) was the one to instigate the physical violence and followed it up with abusive threats. Even after we went away from the dias, you can see him coming after me time and again," Malik says.
The Services wrestler alleges that Jagbir was not the referee officiating in his match and that he interfered in his bout when he went to the
"I don't know what happened but the jury member in my match stepped back and did not give a decision. Jagbir Ji came on his own when he was actually expected to be officiating over Bajrang Punia's match. He interfered and gave a decision without following the appropriate procedures. I approached the seating area of the referees to discuss something. All of a sudden slapped me twice," he alleges.
Jagbir, on the other hand, had mentioned on the evening of the incident that he was asked by the main referee to give the decision.
"I was in charge of the mat & when the game had come under suspicious circumstances the main judge asked me to watch the video & give a decision on the basis of that," Jagbir was quoted as saying by ANI.
Satender also states that he is worried about the time that it will take for the WFI to give a decision on his matter. Given that the CWG is to be held at the end of July, there is a definite need for his case to be heard immediately.
Regarding the future mode of recourse, Satender says, "I have already had discussions about my appeal procedure. There is a process and it must be followed strictly and I will always respect that."
The WFI is yet to take a final decision on the matter and more on the same is awaited.