On Sunday, the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) announced that India will host 12 teams in the upcoming Kabaddi World Cup, scheduled to take place in October this year.
Apart from India, other countries that will be vying for the title of Kabaddi World Cup include United States, Canada, UK, Australia, Iran, Poland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and Kenya. Kabaddi became a part of Asian Games in the year 1990 and India has won all the gold medals since then.
“The International Kabaddi Federation is immensely proud that Kabaddi is growing in popularity so fast and is all set to breakthrough on a global stage with the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup scheduled in India. We are committed to nurturing the sport across the globe,” Janardan Singh Gehlot, president of IKF said.
“The phenomenal success of Pro Kabaddi and the participation of players from around the world is a testament to kabaddi’s promise as a global sport. We are delighted and proud to have India host 12 countries for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup,” Gehlot added.
According to an IANS report, Mohammad Raza Maghsodlou, vice president of the Asian Kabaddi Federation and secretary of Kabaddi Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said that the 12 participating countries are already engaged with training and other preparations for the World Cup.
“Iran sees a global future for Kabaddi. Of course, the team from Iran is very good and we will participate with a view of lifting the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup,” Maghsodlou said.
Back in 2014, the Iranian team gave the Indian side a close fight in the final of the Asian Games Kabaddi competition. Several Iranian players are also top performers at the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league.
IKF officials also said they are taking special care to ensure that the selection of the participant teams for the World Cup is representative of every Olympic geography.
The television rights for the Kabaddi World Cup have been sold to Star Sports, who will serve as the official broadcaster of the event.