Sepak Takraw, a not so talked about sport could well be the next addition to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if all goes well. A kind of foot-volleyball where players are allowed to use their knees, feet, head and chest to touch the ball except their hands, the 2017 Sepak Takraw World Cup is all set to take place in Hyderabad. The championship will be held from November 2nd to 5th at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad.
In an exclusive interview with the media, ISTAF secretary general Dato Haji Abdul Halim Bin Kader stated that this tournament will be held on round-robin league. The State Minister for Sports, T Padma Rao, issued a statement saying that all support will be provided by the government to host the event on a large scale. It was also announced that veteran Pullela Gopichand will be the tournament's brand ambassador.
This mega event will see 20 countries and around 300 players battling it out to win the championship. The November event will play host to 12 women and 16 men teams. These teams include countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, France, Iran, Germany, Malaysia, Japan, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam with India being the host country.
India has placed well in the world rankings, where the women's and men's team both have been ranked 7th and 6th. Therefore, they have a chance of claiming the cup on their homeground. All measures are being taken to promote the sport in the state, with the Olympics being kept in mind so that India can showcase its talent in the sport.
All matches will be played on a league-cum-knockout basis. The time slot will be between 8 am to 8 pm daily, while entry into the stadium will be free for spectators. The Telangana Sepak Takraw Association will be hosting this event under the aegis of Sepak Takraw Federation of India, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation as well as the Sports Authority of Telangana State.