State women's kabaddi members face ban for fixing
Following a 10-hour meeting at the MSKA headquarters in Shivaji Park on Sunday, the association's vice-president Devram Bhoir, who is also the chairman of the disciplinary committee, recommended five-year bans on coach Raju Bhavsar
The Maharashtra State Kabaddi Association's (MSKA) disciplinary committee, alleging match-fixing, has recommended bans on members of the Maharashtra women's kabaddi team that lost to Kerala and were ousted in the league stage of the Nationals in Patna last month.
Following a 10-hour meeting at the MSKA headquarters in Shivaji Park on Sunday, the association's vice-president Devram Bhoir, who is also the chairman of the disciplinary committee, recommended five-year bans on coach Raju Bhavsar and Guangzhou Asian Games gold medal-winning player Deepika Joseph and two-year bans on team captain Sailee Keripale, player Snehal Shinde and team manager Manisha Gavand. It is alleged that the players conspired to deliberately lose the last league match against Kerala leading to the team's premature exit from the tournament.
"Maharashtra has a rich tradition at the kabaddi Nationals. Our women's team have been champions for a record 22 times. It was shocking the way we seemed to deliberately lose to Kerala and bowed out of the tournament even at the league stage. The players, coach and manager then began complaining to us about disciplinary issues in the team. That's why we decided to have this disciplinary committee enquiry. We will discuss the recommendations of this committee in our managing committee soon and take a final call on the bans," MSKA's general secretary Aswad Patil told mid-day from Alibag yesterday.
Bhavsar, however, claimed this was a conspiracy. "Deepika, Sayali and Snehal are in the India camp and have a bright chance to represent the country. This is a conspiracy against them. There is no justification to this enquiry as this disciplinary committee has no right to hand out any punishment," said Bhavsar, a former India player.
He went on to question the need to ban any athlete. "If a cricket team performs badly, its captain or coach may be sacked but no one is banned, so this is weird. I told the disciplinary committee that being the coach, I'm ready to take responsibility of the team's performance, but the players should not be punished as they are the ones bringing pride and honour to our state and country. But no one is willing to listen to me," added Bhavsar, an Arjuna awardee.
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