Spain: Sikh boy asked to remove patka during football match; teammates stand in solidarity
Spain, February 2: In a shocking incident, a 15-year-old Sikh boy was asked by the referee to remove his Patka during a football match. However, in an act of solidarity, boy's teammates stood by him and forced the referee to change his decision.
According to the Instagram page sikhexpo, the incident occurred during a match between Arratia C and a local rival Padura de Arrigorriaga.
As reported by a local newspaper La Vanguardia, the referee asked the 15-year-old Gurpreet Singh to remove his Patka as he thought that he was wearing “a hat” and explained that it is prohibited according to the regulations.
However, none of the referees who avoided this interpretation had previously prohibited the youngster from wearing a Patka.
Gurpreet Singh's teammates were the first to come to his support, explaining to the referee that it is a religious element with which he has always played. They even decided to leave the field of play when the referee refused to budge.
"He has been playing normally for at least five years, even in his first year as cadets and so far this season," said Pedro Ormazabal, president of Arratia. "We have never had a single issue." He went on to say that the situation had become "humiliating" for the youngster the previous day.
"It was the first few minutes of the second half, and as soon as he walked away, the referee turned to him and urged him to remove his turban. In front of the entire world: all the families, all the players... "A situation like this cannot be left up to the referees' interpretation," says Ormazabal.
However, he will compete again this Saturday. The Biscayan club is confident that the traumatic incident at the Padura facilities will not be repeated. And they have made it clear that they will not abandon Gurpreet, the post concluded.
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