The Seventh National Games concluded yesterday in Biratnagar. But the on-field disputes during the games have been more popular than the games itself. A volleyball player of Western Region manhandling the referee, APF walking out of the final of the cricket game, interruption during Karate match by Tribhuvan Army Club players were only some of the major disputes.
Disputes in big games are inevitable; be it from the referees, organizers or players. But the series of on-field disputes during the National Games is surely a matter of concern. And these disputes need to be analyzed on the basis of individual incidents as well as the mismanagement of the games as a whole.
Women’s team of APF walking out of the final game was the one that saw the most controversy. APF needed nine runs from as many balls for the win with two wickets in hand. A shot by Ritu Kanaujia was saved by Apsara Begam of Eastern Region, as per the third umpire. Dissatisfied APF bench, who thought that the ball had crossed the line for a four, called Kanaujia back and the dispute started.
Whether the decision of the third umpire was right is of a different concern here. The major issue is the discipline of the players. Referees do make bad decisions. They’re humans after all. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the referees’ wrong doings. Investigations must be done. Yet, walking out of a game, and that too in a game of such significance, is an extremely unsportsmanlike conduct. There is always the door for the legal solution. The team could have filed a complaint for the dissatisfaction. That way, not only the image of the team and the players would be not ruined, but it could actually have tangible benefits to them. If the decision goes their way, there could be some compensation of any sort. Whatever happens in the field, the players should accept. A fair amount of protest is inevitable. But a protest to the extent that the game had to be postponed or even called off is against the spirits of sports itself.
Now, what remains to be seen is what National Sports Council (NSC) will do in response. Sure, political criminals going unpunished is not a new thing in this country and it has become a sort of a culture. However, people have already seen the effects of what punishing the parasites of the national football and what it has done to uplift the standards of the beautiful game. And so, they sure will be looking for the right and fair actions against all the undisciplined players that the National Games saw this term.
However, the organizer NSC is itself not out of the dispute in regards to its poor management. The coaches and the judges have accused NSC of just wanting to finish the games rather than concentrating on maintaining the standards. And that becomes quite evident in the controversial decisions referees made.
Despite the controversies, being able to organize the games after what the country has gone through post earthquake is in itself a positive welcome. However, the positiveness can be overshadowed by the disputes and the poor management. This should be a lesson to be learnt, not only by the organizers, but by the players, coaches and every other people involved.
(Writer blogs at https://meropaalo.wordpress.com)
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