Help Nepal into semifinal amidst refereeing controversy

Published On: September 16, 2016 10:09 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 16: Help Nepal Sports Club registered a hard fought victory over Nepal Police Club on Friday in the Third NVA Cup Women and Men's Volleyball Tournament which saw the play stop for an hour due to controversial referee decision.

Help Nepal, studded with four Indian players, edged past defending champion Police 25-19, 18-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-23 and progressed to the semifinal while the later faced exit from the tournament. 

Winner Help Nepal's manager Arun Shrestha accused the referee of breaking match rhythm with her decisions. “Win or defeat is obvious in game but the referee decisions should not hamper player's confidence and today that exactly happened in the game. Referee gave wrong decisions,” said Shrestha. 

“Volleyball Association should be careful about technical aspect otherwise such bad decision will cost dearly to the investment made by the clubs,” added Shrestha. 

The match between Help Nepal and Police was like a fight for existence. Help Nepal has invested Rs 300,000 on Indian players' wages setting the target of lifting the title and qualify for the upcoming NVA league. Police had started the tournament with the aim of keeping its influence in the domestic volleyball. The departmental team is studded with national players including spiker Sanjay Aryal, Hari Thapa, Dev Sharma, captain Im Rana and Chandra Kunwar. Chandra wasn't in the team due to the injury however was trying to boost the confidence of teammates from the bench. 

Indian players of Help Nepal were looking to prove their worth as spiker Subhe Singh and Subham Chaudhary have the experience of playing for the Indian national team. Singh having the height of 6.7” has captained India for seven years in his 10 years playing career for national team and is among the tallest players of his country. 

Help Nepal had lost to the Army in their previous match. But Singh scored 36 points including 34 from spike and helped his team to register the win.

Police coach Saroj Shrestha also wasn't happy over referee Chandra Bandana Rai's decisions. “Referee shouldn't take the decisions looking at the supporters. Referee should have executed her decisions but she changed it. Organizers were helpless and the hour-long break hampered the match rhythm,” Shrestha said putting it as the reason of the team's defeat. 

“Only performance level and tournaments are not enough for the development of the volleyball in the nation. Association also needs to develop the level of the referees,” added Shrestha. 

Similarly in the women's section of the tournament, winner and the runner up of the last edition APF and New Diamond are set to vie in the semifinal on Sunday. 

Diamond overcame Dhorpatan Sports Club after Pratibha Mali earned 37 points. Diamond recorded straight sets win of 25-3, 25-13, 25-8. Diamond's captain Lalita Nath contributed 11 points for the team. Diamond's coach Kumar Rai said that his side took the match against Dhorpatan as preparation for the semifinal. “It was not a hard match to win. The match against APF will be like the final for us,” added Rai. 

Defending champion APF beat Jawalakhel Volleyball Training Center with the straight sets of 25-11, 25-6, 25-11. APF's Saraswati Chaudhry, who returned from a month-long training in Japan contributed 22 points for her team. Saraswati said that the training in Japan has boosted her confidence. 

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