- India's Kabaddi team travelled to Pakistan to participate in the Kabaddi World Cup 2020 that is being held in Lahore.
- However, the IOA distanced itself from sanctioning any such travel.
- "No one can use India’s name without the approval of the IOA and the government,” Narinder Batra, IOA Chief, said.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said on Monday it didn’t sanction any visit for the kabaddi team to Pakistan for a world-level tournament.
An Indian contingent reached Lahore on Saturday via the Wagah Border to participate in the championship that is being hosted in Pakistan for the first time.
The clicks and footage of the Indians arriving in Lahore made the rounds on various social media platforms, kicking up a storm.
In fact, the official Twitter handle of the Kabaddi World Cup event also announced that the Indian team hand defeated Germany by 62/28.
— Kabaddi World Cup (@KabaddiWorldCup) February 10, 2020
The tournament was kickstarted on Monday at Lahore’s Punjab Football Stadium. It will be followed by games in Faisalabad and Gujrat.
“We had got the invitation for this event last year. Players have played in such tournaments individually and on their own.”
Harpreet Singh Baba, coach of the team India #KabaddiWC2020
— Indian Kabaddi Team (@KabaddiIndia) February 10, 2020
However, a Sports Ministry source had informed on Sunday that the government didn’t sanction any athlete to travel to Pakistan.
And it was confirmed on Monday by the IOA who distanced itself from the team’s visit.
“The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) had already said that it has not approved any team to travel to Pakistan and the IOA too has not given any such approval,” Narinder Batra, the IOA president, said.
“The Sports Ministry has already made it clear that it has not given any approval. So, we don’t really know who has travelled to Pakistan. No one can use India’s name without the approval of the IOA and the government.”
P. Garg, the administrator of AKFI Justice (Retd.), had also confirmed that the national body hasn’t cleared any such team.
“We have no information about any kabaddi team which has gone to Pakistan. No permission was ever granted by AKFI to any team to go to Pakistan and play any Kabbadi match there,” he had said on Saturday.
“We came to know about it only after information was sought. AKFI does not support any such activity. Legal action may be taken against the defaulters,” he added.
Nonetheless, Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, the Pakistan Punjab Minister for Sports, reportedly welcomed the Indian contingent at a hotel in Lahore.
The Pakistan Kabaddi Federation officials had also welcomed the Indian players with garlands after they crossed through the Wagah border into Pakistan. They were then taken from there in a security convoy to the Lahore hotel.