Disgraced Oz wrestler to be locked up in Delhi CWG Games village

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NEW DELHI/MELBOURNE - Australian Commonwealth Games officials have decided to lock-up silver-medallist wrestler Hassene Fkiri after he refused to shake hands with his Indian opponent and gold medal winner Anil Kumar following his defeat in the 96 kilogram Greco-Roman class wrestling championship on Tuesday.

Fkiri is also being punished for his bizarre decision to flip the bird at judges.

He has been asked to apologise to Kumar and the referee who disqualified him, and then will be forced to remain locked in the village until the end of the Games.

Ordinarily, he would have been free to return home or go sight seeing in Delhi after completing his events.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, on his return to Australia, he will be forced into a form of community service with a weekly coaching clinic at Sydney’s junior boxing world wrestling club.

Australia’s chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said the punishment was designed to give Fkiri a chance to redeem himself.

“Obviously, it was well within our rights to instantly dismiss him and send him home,” Moneghetti said.

“We considered the impact of that on the rest of his life. His actions were unacceptable for an Australian sportsman representing their country. Publicly, it didn’t look good. They’re was completely out of character, he was so motivated by the way his was performing as the match was unravelling, the persistent pressure caused him to make some poor decisions,” Moneghetti added.

“The most disappointing facet of this whole event was the fact he wouldn’t shake hands with his opponent. We play hard, but once the result is decision we play fair, it’s very embarrassing. He has disappointed the Australian Commonwealth Games team and he understands that,” Moneghetti said further.

The umpire cautioned Tunisian-born Fkiri, 36, thrice for dangerous play before being disqualified and told to leave the mat.

Australian coach Kuldi Bassi said: “I didn’t actually see anything myself but someone else told me he saw it.

Following Fkiri’s disqualification, South Africa’s Kakoma Hugues Bella-Lufu was upgraded from bronze to silver and Canada’s Eric Feunekes from fourth to bronze.

Kumar’s victory completed a clean sweep of golds for India on the first day of wrestling. (ANI)

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