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  5. Asian Games 2023: Why India vs Iran Kabaddi final was stopped for one hour in last moments of clash?

Asian Games 2023: Why India vs Iran Kabaddi final was stopped for one hour in last moments of clash?

Asian Games 2023: There was a big controversy in the India vs Iran Kabaddi Gold medal clash and the final was stopped for an hour when it approached the final minute. Both sides were not satisfied with the review decisions and kept protesting.

Varun Malik Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: October 07, 2023 16:24 IST
India vs Iran Kabaddi final
Image Source : TWITTER India vs Iran Kabaddi final

Asian Games 2023: The most successful Kabaddi team India faced 2018 champions Iran in a humdinger of a kabaddi final at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre Court 1 on Saturday. Both sides gave it their all in the final as there was hardly anything to separate in the 40-minute finale. However, there was a major point of debate in the final few moments of the clash and the game was temporarily suspended and stopped for more than an hour.

What happened?

India's Pawan Sehrawat was forced into a do-or-a-die raid before the final minute loaded with India and Iran at 28-28 in the second half. Pawan went into the lobby area without touching any Iranian defender. In reply, Amirhossein Bastami and three more Iran defenders followed Pawan into the lobby. Iran were initially given a point for stopping Pawan. But then came a string of protests and a one-hour-long delay in the match. 

Here is the complete timeline

Pawan went for the do-or-a-die raid. Bastami and three Iranian defenders attempted to tackle Pawan and followed him into the lobby. The lobby is the strip area on the two sides of the mat. Iran were initially awarded a point but Pawan claimed he did not touch any defenders and should be getting points. That caused the confusion.

The referees reviewed and both the teams were given one point each. But the Indians then protested and after further review, India were given three points and Iran one, according to the old rule. It was not over yet. The Iranians then protested and asked to change the decision. The officials came and gave the decision in favour of Iran. India coach Coach Bhaskaran asked the players to stop playing and sit on the mat. Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India intervened and after looking at the replays, he stated that both the teams should get a point each, which saw protests from the Indians again. Later the officials gave India three points and Iran one and the match finally resumed after an hour.

What do the rules say?

According to rule 28 of IKF, "If a defender or defenders who has/have touched the ground outside the boundary (as per rule 5), hold a raider, the raider will be declared NOT OUT. The defender or defenders who have gone out of bounds only will be declared out."

However, the PKL rule says, " If a raider steps into the lobby, then the raid ends there and the raider is eliminated. One point awarded to the defending team unless one of their defenders also goes off the mat." But the technical director of PKL E Prasad Rao told ESPN last year that "From this season on, once the raider goes out of bounds before a tackle, the raid will be considered over. The defender who goes into the lobby will not be treated as out."

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