The tensions between India and their immediate neighbours Pakistan is never dropping, and it has made its impact in the world of sports. Recently there were clashes between BCCI and PCB, and now there’s a new controversy. A team of circle kabaddi players consisting 60 players have travelled to Pakistan for the upcoming unofficial ‘Kabaddi World Cup 2020’, while India has officially disowned the team and its decision to go to Pakistan.
The Indian team, which have flown to Pakistan without any formal intervention from the Union Sports Ministry, consists players mostly from the state of Punjab, and even the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) have officially denied to have given any clearance to them.
“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,” AKFI’s retired Justice S P Garg said regarding the incident.
In an interview with ANI, India’s Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju officially stated that India did not give any permission to any kabaddi players to go to Pakistan.
He also added that no players or team has the right to misuse the Indian flag or the national kabaddi team’s name in any unofficial tournaments.
“Misusing the Indian flag or Indian team’s name cannot be allowed for unauthorised tournaments. I will ask the players if they’ve gone to Pakistan with Kabaddi federation’s approval,” he added.
Along with the controversy of no official statement from India, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has also charged Pakistan Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation (PACKF) for allowing 60 Indian players for the tournament, accusing them for adjusting the Indian players into the unofficial teams from other countries.
According to sources from the Times of India, the Indian players travelled to Pakistan via the Attari international border on 6th and 7th February, and were received by Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, the current sports minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The tournament, which is scheduled to kick off from 12th February in Faisalabad, will see Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan taking part, along with India and Pakistan. The final match, which is scheduled on 16th February, will take place in Lahore, and the winning team will be awarded a monetary award of 1 crore Pakistani rupees.