When the Indian Kabaddi team arrived in Pakistan for the World Cup, little did they know that it would spark a mini-controversy back in the country. With the sports ministry and the national federation claiming that no Indian athlete has been given clearance to compete in the neighbouring country, things have gone for a swirl within the sporting fraternity of the country.
“The sports ministry and the ministry of external affairs have not granted any permission to any team, which is mandatory while representing the country at any international event,” a sports ministry source was quoted by PTI.
A contingent from India travelled to Lahore via Wagah border on Saturday to take part in the tournament scheduled to be held in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujrat from 9 to 16 February. On their arrival, their pictures and video footages started surfacing in social media.
Now, there is a procedure for participation at any overseas tournament or meet. First, the national federation has to communicate with the sports ministry. Then, the ministry, in turn, will write to the MEA for political clearance and Home Ministry for security clearance. Only after given clearance can any athlete travel.
The Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India (AKFI), on their part, maintained that they were unaware of the contingent’s travel. “We have no information about any kabbadi team which has gone to Pakistan. No permission was ever granted by AKFI to any team to go to Pakistan and play any kabbadi match there,” Justice (retd) S P Garg, administrator of AKFI was quoted saying.
“We came to know about it only after information was sought. AKFI does not support any such activity. Legal action may be taken against the defaulters,” he added.
The World Cup, which is being held in Pakistan for the first time, starts on Monday at the Punjab Football Stadium in Lahore. It remains to be seen whether or not the Indian team takes part and if so, can they win the title.