AMRITSAR: Participation of a group of circle kabaddi players, suspected to be mostly from Punjab, in Pakistan’s first
has led to a new controversy as Pakistan Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation (
) has claimed many ‘Indian’ kabaddi players were being adjusted in the teams of other countries such as Australia, England and Canada.
The players, estimated to be 45 in number and accompanied by a group of some 12 officials and coaches, are in the neighbouring country without any official permission or clearance.
The Pakistan federation also demanded an investigation into why the unauthorised players from India were being treated as an official Indian team.
PACKF secretary general Muhammad Sarwar Bhatt told TOI on phone that Indian passport holders have been included in the teams of England, Canada and Australia as kabaddi players. He said only a few players from these countries had arrived in Pakistan and their teams had been completed by including kabaddi players from India.
Sierra Leone, Azerbaijan and Iran also have send their teams for the eight-day tournament. “Iran’s team is somewhat a serious contender but Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan are non-kabaddi playing nations and do not have much at stake. USA, Canada and Kenya did not send their teams to participate,” Bhatt said.
A letter dated November 28, 2019, and written on the letterhead of Punjab Kabaddi Association surfaced on Monday. The letter purportedly shows that the body had been informed by Pakistan about the kabaddi world cup. The authenticity of the letter, which carries reference number 1151, could not be confirmed but it includes signature of its secretary Amanpreet Singh Malhi.
In the letter, the association expressed gratitude towards Pakistan Kabaddi Association secretary general Muhammad Sarwar Rana for extending invitation for
and confirmed participation of a team representing India.
Punjab Kabaddi Association Sikander Singh Maluka and Malhi were not available for any comment on Monday.
Justice S P Garg (retd), administrator of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), the governing body of the sport in India, said it was up to the central government to take action against the unofficial kabaddi team. The AKFI, he added, would ask Punjab Kabaddi Association whether it had any role in sending the players to Pakistan and would take action accordingly.