Jashkawar Gill, the new name in the Indian wrestling arena, was set to make is international bow on July 28 in Turkey. But the tournament organizers did not allow him to compete, after the player rejected their demand of removing his 'patka'. According to the international rules, a player cannot wear any headgear which can harm his opponent.
The tournament organizers suggested gill to remove his patka and tie his long hair the way women do. But the wrestler chose to stick to his religious beliefs, and decided to further delay is debut.
Recalling the complete incident, Gill was quoted by media as saying, "I told the referee that I have long hair and I need to tie it with the patka. I tried convincing everyone there that this is for a religious purpose. Even my coach tried talking to everyone but nothing worked. They did not allow me to compete with it."
There were a lot of requests made by the player, his coach and the Indian team delegates to the organizers as well as the United World Wrestling (UWW). India's coach Jagmender Singh also tried his level best to make a case for the wrestler.
Jagmender said that he requested the authorities to let Gill participate in the tournament. The coach further added that the organizers informed him that the wrestler can participate if he ties his hair.
The Turkey Wrestling Federation defended their stance in this whole issue. A spokesperson of the organizors said, "It was not our fault. There was a delegation from UWW to conduct the tournament and all the rules were applied. It was not in our hands to change those rules. The Wrestling Federation of India should ask UWW why their wrestler was not allowed to compete."
President of Shiromani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Singh Badal sympathized with the athlete, and ordered the government to look into this matter. He wrote on Twitter, "Deeply hurt to know about India’s biggest dangal star Jashkawar Gill walkover in #Istanbul. He refused referee’s insistence to tie his hair like women competitors,for the respect of his Patka.I condemn this attack on the Sikh sentiments & request @Ra_THORe to look into the matter"