IOA shocked as an unofficial team from India reaches Pakistan to play in Kabaddi World Championship

Photo credit: IANS. In picture: IOA chief Narinder Batra
Photo credit: IANS. In picture: IOA chief Narinder Batra
Umaima Saeed
Modified 10 Feb 2020

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is completely surprised by the news of a Kabaddi team from India reaching Pakistan to take part in the World Championship.

Speaking to IANS, IOA chief Narinder Batra said on Monday that the team, which reached Lahore on Saturday, is not an official one from India and have not been approved by the Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India (AKFI).

 "The IOA has not approved and it has also not been approved by the federation so I don't know who has gone. Whether 60 or 100 have gone, I have no idea. The kabaddi federation, which is a member of IOA, has confirmed that they have not sent anyone. I have seen statements from the (sports) ministry which confirm they have not approved anyone. So I don't know who they are and what the story is," Batra said.

As per reports, the team reached Lahore through the Wagah Border. The championship is being hosted for the first time in Pakistan and all the previous six editions were held in India between 2010 and 2019 where India won on all occasions.

"As long as our member unit has not cleared it, they cannot use the word 'India.' It has to come through IOA and the government, only then you can use that word. Some individuals with Indian passport go and play there as India, that is not how sports are run. But then, I can never predict anything about Pakistan, that's beyond my control. They can do whatever they want," Batra said.

Players from 10 countries -- Pakistan, India, Canada, the United States, Australia, England, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan are taking part in the event.

Published 10 Feb 2020
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