Press Trust of india

Sports Ministry set to order inquiry into “unauthorised” Pak trip by kabaddi players

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New Delhi, Feb 11:  The Sports Ministry is contemplating an inquiry into an “unauthorised” Indian team’s participation in a circle style world cup in Pakistan, which has kicked up a storm.

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, according to the Ministry.

A Sports Ministry source told PTI that “the minister (Kiren Rijiju) is set to start an inquiry.”

“Any disciplinary proceeding will start only after the players are back,” said another source.

Circle kabaddi is slightly different from standard kabaddi, which is part of the Asian Games. While the standard format has seven players, below 80kg in weight, per side, circle kabaddi features eight, without any weight restrictions, and the field of play is a circle.

There is more trouble in store for the beleaguered national kabaddi federation as two individuals — K P Rao and M V Prasaad Babu — filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court demanding a CBI inquiry into “alleged scandal and functioning of AKFI at large”, the sources claimed.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday said it has not sanctioned any kabaddi team’s visit to Pakistan for a tournament.

A contingent from India reached Lahore on Saturday via the Wagah Border to take part in the championship. Pictures and footage of the Indians arriving in Lahore have surfaced on social media platforms, kicking up a storm.

On Tuesday, International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) president Janardhan Singh Gehlot said the tournament is not recognised by the apex body.

“Yeh farzi tournament hein, farzi players participate kar rahe hein (This is an invalid tournament where players who are not recognised by the world body are participating),” Gehlot said.

“The countries taking part in this circle Word Cup in Pakistan, say Australia or Canada, are not affiliated to the international federation. Circle kabaddi is not played in these countries so these farzi (unrecognised) players are representing these countries,” he said.

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