New Delhi: Following Bajrang Punia's controversial loss in the semi-finals of the World Wrestling Championships, star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has questioned the umpiring standards at the ongoing event in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhastan.
On Thursday, Punia, World No.1 65 kg freestyle wrestler, lost his semi-final bout against local wrestler Daulet Niyazbekov in a rather controversial manner after securing the quota for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Punia, who lost on the basis of tie-breaker rules after getting locked at 9-9 with his Niyazbekov via criteria point -- a four-point move, was seen pleading with the mat chairman to take appropriate action against the home wrestler for several fouls -- including hitting on the face, pulling costume and delaying tactics.
Punia was a victim of multiple fouls as Niyazbekov was warned but to no avail as he trailed 2-9 following a four-point move by Niyazbekov which was reviewed by the Indian grappler.
"Anyone who saw the semi-final bout between Bajrang and Niyazbekov can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. Then why didn't the umpires sitting there saw that? How could such a mistake take place in a big tournament like World Championships? Kazakhstan didn't play according to the rules (sic.)," tweeted Dutt in Hindi on Thursday.
बजरंग v/s नियाज़ (कजाखस्तान) का सेमीफाइनल मैच देखकर कोई भी सही या गलत में फर्क कर सकता है। फिर वहां बैठे अम्पायर को ये क्यूँ नही दिखा? इतने बड़े टूर्नामेंट में इतनी बड़ी लापरवाही? कजाखस्तान बहुत ही गलत तरीके से खेल रहा था ये सबने देखा। — Yogeshwar Dutt (@DuttYogi) September 19, 2019
Former Olympic wrestler and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Ben Askren tweeted: "Daton got screwed! Bajrang got screwed."
Endorsing Dutt's views, Askren said: "Dutt knows cheating when he sees it."
Apart from Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya also lost his semi-final bout 4-6 to Zavur Uguev of Russia in the 57-kg weight category. However, like Punia, he was also able to secure a berth for the Tokyo Olympics.