The ongoing circle Kabaddi World Cup has attracted a myriad of teams from Asia, Europe and even South America.
But the fact that the organisers have allowed a team of Indian players masquerading as a foreign team certainly does not augur well for a tournament seeking legitimacy in the sporting world.
The so-called Malaysian women’s team at the championships is made up of mainly Indian citizens who are working or studying or just visiting Malaysia. The team is not entered by either of the two recognised national kabaddi bodies in the country – Malaysia Kabaddi Federation or the Kabaddi Association of Malaysia.
It is learnt that the so-called team led by an official from Punjab had forged a letterhead of a non-existent kabaddi association in Malaysia to enter the team for the tournament.
Just how the organisers allowed such a travesty take place is beyond anyone’s reasoning. Was there no verification of players’ eligibility carried out by the organisers?
That they allowed a group of non citizens to claim they represent Malaysia and use the flag is scandalous. The Malaysian government is not likely to take this lightly as it is learnt that an official protest is expected to be made to the Indian Embassy by the kabaddi fraternity in Malaysia.
How will the Indian government react if a group of foreign students or workers decides to represent India in a major international competition without legitimate recognition?
Or will the organisers of the next edition of the World Cup bring in more illegitimate teams like this and cheat the public and themselves, just so they have many teams participating?
If the Malaysian team at the World Cup is a farce, the question that needs to be asked is whether the other teams in competition were also similarly constituted.
Circle kabaddi is not a popular form of kabaddi in Malaysia. Almost all competitions in the country are in the National (Asian) Style. While Beach Kabaddi is also played in Malaysia, Circle kabaddi is still played predominantly by Indian expatriates in Malaysia.
This is a major mismanagement by the relevant parties and must be nipped in the bud. The previous editions of the World Cup were tainted by doping and this latest bungle does not help the sport.
Perhaps the Indian Sports Ministry should look into this seriously and also ensure that the organisers and the fake team apologise to Malaysia.Published 10 Dec 2012, 18:50 IST