The Sports Ministry is expected to inquire into the unauthorized participation of an Indian kabaddi team in the circle style World Cup in Pakistan this week. Around 45 players along with 12 officials, support staff and coaches arrived in the neighbouring country to take part in the event without any official clearance or permission from the government, which has kicked up a storm. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also clarified that it had not sanctioned any kabaddi team from the country to visit Pakistan.
On Saturday, an Indian contingent had arrived in Lahore through the Wagah Border to turn out in the world tournament. However, the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) President Janardhan Singh Gehlot later stated that the circle style World Cup is not recognized by the global body and that it was an invalid tournament. He also added that circle style kabaddi is not played in countries like Australia and Canada, one of the ten teams who are participating in the World Cup, and that it was surprising how these nations were playing in the event.
“Yeh farzi tournament hein, farzi players participate kar rahe hein (This is an invalid tournament where players who are not recognised by the world body are participating),” Gehlot said.
“The countries taking part in this circle Word Cup in Pakistan, say Australia or Canada, are not affiliated to the international federation. Circle kabaddi is not played in these countries so these farzi (unrecognised) players are representing these countries,” he added.
Recently, the Pakistan Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation (PACKF) claimed that many Indians had turned out for teams like England, Australia and Canada. “If Pakistan is now claiming that this is an official World Cup then how come Indian players are now playing for different countries which is evident from a list that we have,” a source said.
Questions are also being asked of the Punjab Kabaddi Association (PKA) as the players participating in the World Cup are affiliated to the PKA. However, it does not have the authority to send teams to international events on its own.