New Delhi, Feb 11:
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday said it has not sanctioned any kabaddi team’s visit to Pakistan for a world level tournament.
A contingent from India reached Lahore on Saturday via the Wagah Border to take part in the championship, being hosted by Pakistan for the first time. Pictures and footage of the Indians arriving in Lahore have surfaced on social media platforms, kicking up a storm.
The tournament opened on Monday at the Punjab Football Stadium in Lahore, which will be followed by some matches in Faisalabad and Gujarat.
A Sports Ministry source on Sunday said the government has not granted permission to any athlete to travel to Pakistan for the event.
And now the IOA, too, 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,” IOA president Narinder Batra 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.” The administrator of AKFI Justice (Retd) S P Garg had also said that the national body has not cleared any such team.
“We have no information about any kabbadi 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.