‘Unofficial’ Indian kabaddi team in Pakistan kicks up a row | Amritsar News



AMRITSAR: A group of about 60 circle kabaddi players, said to be mostly from Punjab, has created a controversy by participating in Pakistan’s first ‘kabaddi world cup 2020’, which is being played in circle format, without any official permission or clearance by the Union sports ministry.
India has denied sending any team to Pakistan and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), the apex body for the sport in the country, too washed its hands off the row by saying that it had not authorized any player to go to Pakistan.
This is the first time Pakistan is hosting the event. The poster of the tournament shows participation by 10 countries, including India, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan. The eight-day tournament was inaugurated at Punjab Stadium, Lahore, on Sunday and matches will be played in Faisalabad on February 12 and 13 and in Gujrat, which is in the country’s Punjab province, on February 14. The final will be held on February 16 in Lahore and the prize money for the victorious team is 1 crore Pakistani rupees.
The circle format is popular mostly in Punjab. The national-style kabaddi is recognized by Indian Olympic Association and also by the Olympic Council of Asia and is used in the Asian Games. Tournaments like the Pro-Kabaddi League and ‘Kabaddi World Cup’ are played in the same format.
A circle kabaddi team has 10 players and four rolling substitutes are allowed during a match, so ideally a team would not comprise more than 14 players. The invitation to 60 Indian players has created a controversy in Pakistan too. Pakistan Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation (PACKF) blamed the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for “importing 60 Indian players to adjust them in teams of other countries, who have not sent official teams.’ Sources told TOI that as many as 58 Indian kabaddi players had crossed over to Pakistan from Attari international border in two batches on February 6 and 7 and were received by Pakistan Punjab’s minister of sports, Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti.
In Video:Team India felicitated at Circle Style Kabaddi WC 2020 in Lahore


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