Basketball federation officials are miffed after an Indian player was asked to remove his turban during an under-18 Asian championship match for men in Doha. On Tuesday, just before India's opener against hosts Qatar, Anmol Singh was asked to remove his turban.
On Wednesday, Anmol was once again asked to remove his turban but only after he had played 10 minutes against Malaysia wearing the traditional Sikh headgear. The international basketball federation (FIBA) Commissioner, who was assigned to supervise the match, initially had no objection and allowed Anmol to play the first quarter of the game with his 'patka'. But when Anmol re-entered the court in the second quarter, he was told to remove his turban. (US Lawmakers Urge FIBA to End Ban on Sikh Players Wearing Turbans)
International basketball rules say that a player shall not wear equipment or object that may cause injury to other players while playing. The 'patka' is made of thin cloth which does not cause injury to anybody. Almost all Sikh athletes wear this in other team games.
Basketball Federation of India officials said team manager Shafique Ahmed Shaikh raised the turban issue but was told by the Director Technical Commission - FIBA Asia that the matter will be taken up during FIBA Central Board meeting in Seville, Spain on August 28-29.
A similar turban row involving an Indian players, surfaced during the 5th FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China held from July 11-19. The BFI raised the issue on July 24 during the FIBA Asia Congress. Last month, the Union sports ministry drew the attention of the International Olympic Committee about the turban issue. The Anmol episode has once again angered the Indians.