Kabaddi, the sport of the 12-nation kicks off in India this week for the Kabaddi World Cup and with a row to bar Pakistan their arch-rivals from competing as they may overshadow the event of tag-wrestling sport.
The Iran clash will be with the United States in the opening round on Friday and it also includes all the top sides namely, South Korea, Australia, Poland, England, Argentina and Kenya.
With the World Cup staged prior to nine years ago, the teams relish the chance to compete the two-week event held in Ahmedabad, the India’s western city.
The traditional South Asian sport blends wrestling and tag and is gaining popularity that has been hit with controversy to exclude the fancied Pakistan.
Chief Deoraj Chaturvedi, International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), who is from India, said Pakistan, is denied entry owing to a spike causing tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations. Chaturvedi told AFP, it is not the right time to get engaged with Pak.
“Pakistan is the IKF valuable member but looking at the present scenario and in consdiering both the nation’s best interest, it is right to ban Pakistan from the championship.”
Pakistan blamed the IKF for targeting the country unfairly, saying both rival nations must be excluded if it meant security concerns.
At this Rana Muhammad Sarwar, Pak Kabaddi Federation Secretary said “We have held a meeting to discuss this issue and informed that a Kabaddi World Cup is not a world cup without Pakistan.”
An opening-day double header will see India locking horns with South Korea.