Pakistan has been dropped as a participant from the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup that begins on Friday, October 7. Chief of the International Kabaddi Federation’s Chief Deoraj Chaturvedi said on Wednesday, “Pakistan is a valuable member of the IKF, but looking at the current scenario, and in the best interest of both nations, we decided that Pakistan must be refrained [from the championship].”
Organising committee’s president and Punjab cabinet minister Sikander Singh Maluka said, “The situation in the state following the surgical strike by Indian Army at the LoC does not augur well to invite Pakistan for the World Cup scheduled to be held between November 3 and 17.”
The Kabaddi World Cup was last held nine years ago. The sport has become popular in India with the emergence of the Pro-Kabaddi League. International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) Deoraj Chaturvedi said the decision to leave Pakistan out of the World Cup was taken after much deliberation.
“This is not the right time to engage with Pakistan,” Chaturvedi said. “Pakistan is a valuable member of the IKF but looking at the current scenario and in the best interest of both the nations, we decided that Pakistan must be refrained from the championship.” However, Pakistan, who were highly fancied, are not amused.
“We have called a meeting to discuss this issue but let me tell you that a Kabaddi World Cup is no world cup without Pakistan,” said Pakistan kabaddi federation secretary Rana Muhammad Sarwar. “This is just like a football world cup without Brazil.” Last month, cricket legend Kapil Dev lost his cool at a Kabaddi World Cup media conference, where he was the chief guest, when a scribe asked why Pakistan had not been invited to take part in the tournament to be held from October 7 in Ahmedabad.
“If you are a Hindustani you should not ask the question at all. Is it the time to ask this question?” he had asked fuming, obviously referring to the deadly fidayeen attack by militants suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM on Sunday at Uri, which left 19 soldiers dead.