Handball state meet final: Thiruvananthapuram cries foul
The district senior handball team that played the finals of the state senior handball championship at Chelari, Malappuram, is still to recover from the shock that they received while playing the host Malappuram in the final on Monday night.
In the match that was played under floodlights, the crowd reportedly got furious after three-time winners and arch rivals Thiruvananthapuram managed to grab a one-point lead in the first half of the play and allegedly attacked the visiting players with sticks.
According to the Thiruvananthapuram players, they were attacked by a swelling crowd when the match swung in their favour in the first half. Then, the visitors were leading 12-11.
“In the first half, the rivals were repeatedly committing foul on us and some of our players, including Siva Prasad, received injuries. The referees were not paying any attention to those fouls. Then the crowd too grew hostile and gathered behind our dug-out. Out of fear we decided to forfeit the match, but the crowd wanted us to play, but cautioned us not to go for a win. It was felt that someone had misled the crowd saying that we had defeated Malappuram in the title clash held in the capital last year with the help of the crowd, who had physically manhandled their players,” said Thiruvananthapuram team captain Rajeesh R O.
In the second half, the Thiruvananthapuram team was reportedly forced to play and the management decided to field a second line-up instead of the main team and the host side had their win. The physical manhandling of players continued even afterwards, alleged Justin C M, a senior member of the capital squad.
But the organisers of the competition totally denied the allegation and said that though the crowd was angered by the decision of the Thiruvananthapuram team to leave the match midway, they never attacked the players.
“It was a very tight match and then the visitors decided to withdraw from the game citing poor refereeing. That angered the crowd, but they did not attack the players, ‘’ said Malappuram Handball Association district president C T Nasar. He added that Siva Prasad, whose right arm was allegedly fractured by a foul committed by the Malappuram side, did not even play in the final and the injury was sustained in another match.