New Delhi: In an unprecedented incident, Services wrestler Satender Malik launched a physical attack on referee Jagbir Singh after losing the 125kg final during the Commonwealth Games trials, prompting the national federation to hand him a lifelong suspension here on Tuesday.
The Air Force wrestler was leading 3-0 with just 18 seconds left in the decisive fight when Mohit executed a take-down move and also pushed Satender off the mat for another point.
Referee Virender Malik, however, did not award Mohit two points for the takedown move and only awarded one point for the pushout.
The decision upset Mohit, who asked for a challenge.
Satyadev Malik, the judges for the competition, apologized for the decision on the grounds of impartiality, as he belonged to the Mokhra village where Satender is also from.
Senior referee Jagbir Singh was asked to investigate the challenge and, using TV replays, ruled that Mohit should be awarded three points.
The score became 3-3 and stayed that way until the end, and in the end, Mohit was declared the winner by criteria as he scored the last point of the match.
Satender lost his cool, walked to Mat A where Ravi Dahiya and Aman were locked in the 57kg final, went straight to Jagbir and started attacking him.
He assaulted Jagbir first and then hit him, who lost his balance and fell to the ground.
The 57kg fight was halted as the incident caused a furore in the KD Jadhav hall in the IG stadium. Hundreds of fans, officials and participants were shocked to witness such a scene.
Officials from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) managed to evict Satender and restart the match. Everything happened right in front of WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was on the slide.
“We have imposed a life ban on Satender Malik. The decision was made by the WFI president,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI.
“The umpires who led that fight will also be called upon to explain why no points were awarded to Mohit when it was clear that the take-down move was justified. Why did they let the situation get out of hand.”
A visibly shocked Jagbir Singh said, “I had no idea he would do such a thing.”
A Class One referee since 2013, Jagbir added: “I had nothing to do with this match. I had led the 97kg and 65kg finals and only made the decision after being asked to do it.”
“It is up to WFI what action it wants to take against him.”
Satyadev Malik told PTI: “I wanted to stay away from the decision-making process as we live close by. Also in international wrestling, if the wrestler is from India, a jury from India cannot lead that fight.”
“So to avoid any situation where I am accused of bias, I stayed away. This is really unexpected, because Satender is usually a very calm man,” said Satyadev, who was also an appeals jury for the tournament.
Also read: Nagaland: 4th edition of Kohima Super Cup starts