A rival or parallel kabaddi league is on the cards. Sports broadcaster DSport has tied up with the New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI) to launch the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League.
While the Amateur Kabaddi Federation (AKFI) of India is trapped in an administrative mess, leading to the appointment of an administrator and removal of Life President JS Gehlot and the President Mridula Bhadauria by the Delhi High Court, a new body has announced yet another kabaddi league in India in association with DSport.
The New Kabaddi Federation of India, founded only last year and claimed to be recognised by the World Kabaddi Federation, is launching the new league.
The New Kabaddi Federation of India will bring in “one-of-its-kind” Indo International Premier Kabaddi League. The league has been conceptualized with the objective of promoting the Indian origin sport among the Indian and International viewers, states a Press release.
Many former India internationals and Arjuna Awardees are backing the league and working on the concept including the likes of S Rajarathinam, a two-time Asian Games gold medallist; Suresh Kumar, gold medallist at the World Cup, twice Asian Games and SAF Games champion; Muruganatham, a four-time National Champion and Federation Cup winner; Madukar Yadav, a Malaysian open champion and C Honnappa.
The League will showcase a distinct format, having 8 teams with 62 matches spread over one and half month. Each team will have 3-4 foreign players from across the world. It will feature players from New-Zealand, Poland, Argentina, Tanzania, Australia, Norway, United Kingdom, Canada and USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Mauritius, Kenya, Iraq, Denmark and various other nations from across the globe.
All 62 games will be broadcast exclusively on DSPORT, the Discovery Communications India-owned sports channel.
“I’m really proud to see Kabaddi growing in India. In the last few years we have been seeing a drastic change in people’s mindset for Kabaddi. With the launch of this league, we expect that Kabaddi will gain more encouragement as a sport in India. This league is the only platform to be launched where highly talented players all across the globe will be put to test,” said NKFI President Sarvesh Kumar.
NKFI general secretary MV Prasad Babu adds: “We are overwhelmed to launch the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League in India. This will be the first league featuring the best of Indian and International players from across the world. We believe that the Indo International Premier Kabaddi league will be the landmark event which will set new benchmark for the sport and we are honoured to tie up with DSPORT. We are very excited for this season and can’t wait to witness the fighting spirit and enthusiasm of the players.”