NKA presidents boaster infuriates SAG kabaddi camp

DHAKA; Kabaddi coaches and players almost manhandled Nepal Kabaddi Association (NKA) president Sunil Raj Rajkarnikar for embarrassing them by his authoritarian behaviour during the 11th South Asian Games here today.

Women team coach Shanti Singh was furious when Rajkarnikar used his ‘power’ to omit the name of one of the two men’s Nepali coaches ahead of their match against Bangladesh. Before the match against Bangladesh, the organisers introduced Ram Narayan Raya and did not mention the name of Bimal Pokharel. “What’s the need of omitting his name?” asked Singh. “He has been embarrassing the whole team since we landed at the airport.”

Even NKA vice president Bishnu Prasad Lohani questioned the behaviour of the President. “I am here as the manager of the women’s team and he (Rajkarnikar) came as the men’s team manager. But he is also in the jury and has been using his reach to do whatever he wants to humiliate us,” said Lohani.

Women’s team captain Sangita Gautam was concerned that the whole episode — which attracted a lot of crowd at the venue just ahead of the women’s match against Bangladesh — would affect their performance. “How can we play when the officials are fighting for their own interest and do not care about us?”

The coaches, including women’s team coach Tara Singh Bhat, were also furious with Rajkarnikar for replacing Dinesh Pal with Pashupati Prajapati as a referee. According to them, Dinesh was nominated to officiate in the tournament but Rajkarnikar used his ‘evil hands’ to replace him.

Rajkarnikar said he made the change as Dinesh possessed duplicate licence. “It’s ridiculous to say the certificate was fake,” said Tara Singh Bhat, adding that if that has been the case, the NIS would not have accepted the name.