Punjab Kabaddi Association (PKA) has kicked off a controversy by sending nearly 60 Kabaddi Players to Pakistan to take part in Pakistan’s first Kabaddi World Cup 2020 tournament.
Interestingly these Kabaddi players and Punjab Kabaddi Association office-bearers did not seek any permission from the Indian authorities to take part in the Kabaddi tournament.
Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Monday clarified that no permission was sought to send Kabaddi Players to Pakistan. Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India has also washed its hands off the controversy.
Tejinder Singh Midukheda, Vice-President of Punjab Kabaddi Association told India Today that the association had received an invitation from the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation which is organizing this Kabaddi World Cup on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“These players have gone to play the Kabaddi match in their individual capacity. The permission was not required as they were not representing the country” Tejinder Singh Midukheda said.
Another controversy on which the Punjab Kabaddi Association officials refused to comment is the jersey being used by the Indian Kabaddi Players which have the word India inscribed on it which created the confusion as if they were representing India.
Interestingly, posters of Pakistan’s Kabaddi World Cup also showed India among the 10 participating nations including Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Iran, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan.
While Punjab sports minister Rana Sodhi Was not available for comment and other ministers also refused to speak on the controversy, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar demanded a probe into the allegations and said ” bypassing the Indian authorities is Is something serious which needs to be investigated”.
As the vice President of Punjab Kabaddi Association Tejinder Singh Midukheda is close to Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal, we tried to speak to the Akali Dal which also distanced itself from the controversy.
“Well, these players might have gone on a Pakistan visa. Akali Dal has nothing to say and has no role to send them to the Pakistan” General Secretary and spokesperson Akali Dal Dr. Daljit Cheema said.
It is worth mentioning here that nearly 60 Kabaddi Players, most of them from Punjab, had crossed Wagah border on Saturday to reach Lahore.
The first-ever Pakistan World Kabaddi Cup 2020 has prize money of one crore Pakistan rupees. This world cup kicked off at Punjab Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. The matches will also be played on 12th, 13th and 14th February in Faisalabad and Gujarat. Kabaddi World Cup finals will take place on February 16 in Lahore.
Circle Kabaddi games are very popular in Punjab. This has also been recognized by Indian Olympic association and Olympic Council of Asia.