New Delhi, July 24 IANS | 3 months ago

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) will take up the 'patka row' at the general council meeting of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Thursday at Doha.

"The BFI is very seriously representing the issue of not permitting the Sikh players to participate wearing turban (patka) by the technical commission during the recently concluded Asia Cup at Wuhan, China," said a BFI statement.

"The said issue will be taken up in the general council meeting of FIBA Asia July 24 at Doha by the representative of BFI and also representation is being made to FIBA."

Two Sikh players -- Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh -- were asked to remove their patkas before the start of India's opening match against Japan July 12.

The officials cited Article 4.4.2 of FIBA's rules that states: "Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players. Headgear, hair accessories and jewellery are not permitted."

The BFI statement added: "Our Sikh players have been playing with patka made of simple cloth totally with non abrasive material as good as the size of a handkerchief which is not in any way injurious to anyone during the course of the game. It is just to cover and tie up the long hairs of Sikh players as per their religion custom.

"We understand that the technical commission had mis-interpretated Article 4.4.2 which forbids any player to wear headgear, hair accessories or jewellery but permits headband of maximum 5 cm width made with non-abrasive material in unicolour. We hope to resolve the issue very soon in the best interest of our brilliant Sikh players who felt embarrassed in the Asia Cup."

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Wednesday had also asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take up the issue.

India finished seventh in the tournament.

(Posted on 24-07-2014)

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