Kabadi World Cup is set to move out of India as a vibrant Dubai was today unanimously chosen as host city for the next edition in 2019, by the International Kabaddi Federation members.
An official announcement will be made later as the IKF will discuss “budget and logistic issues” with the UAE government tomorrow.
Slated in February-March next year, the World Cup will be bigger with 16 teams as 2016 World Cup in Ahmedabad featured 12 teams. The IKF will also conduct qualifiers.
Kabaddi being an Asian sport, eight teams from the continent will compete and four will earn automatic qualification from Asian Games while the remaining will play qualifiers in December.
Two each from Europe, Africa and America will join the host nation and another from Oceania.
Hosting World Cup in Dubai was one of the points of discussion at IKF’s annual general council meeting that took place here with 23 member nations who unanimously elected Janardan Singh Gehlot as the president for a fourth consecutive term.
The annual congress was held on the sidelines of the six-nation Kabaddi Masters, a brainchild of the IKF.
“We are quite successful in it and very confident that if our budget and other logistics permit we will bring Kabaddi World Cup 2019 to Dubai. It will be announced with IKF and our partners Star India jointly within a fortnight,” IKF chief executive officer Deoraj Chaturvedi told PTI.
IKF and Star India Pvt Ltd have a 10-year association.
All the three editions of the World Cup were held in India with India being the undisputed leaders, winning all the three editions comfortably.
“But this will be outside India for the first time. If I keep on doing the event in India the world is not going to take me seriously,” he said.
The IKF will work in tandem with the Dubai Sports Council to form a federation that will develop a team for the World Cup.
“We have to ensure that the host nation competes with pride so our next objective is to prepare a team here. I will next travel to the African nations to ensure the development of the sport there,” he said.
IKF has also decided to provide kabaddi mats and coaches to the developing nations like Argentina who competed in the six-nation meet here.
“To compete in Olympics is a far-fetched dream now. We must first ensure that kabaddi is played among 40 countries then we can stake the claim for an IOC membership,” Chaturvedi signed off.
IKF Executive Body
President: Janardan Singh Gehlot
Vice Presidents: Akhtar Abbas Khawaja, Abbas Khajeh Avarseji, Huang Chung Jeng, Oriff Buharakov, Laventer Ateino Oguta, Allan Bo Jakobsen, Ricardo Acuna.
Secretary-General: Yeong Hak Yoon
Treasurer: Amir Hussain Patwary
Joint Secretaries: Yoji Kawai, Somprach Phonchoo, A D Anura Pathirana, Prashant Chaturvedi, Satasivam.
Executive Members: Ahmad Fardin, Rajesh Singh, Ibrahim, Gunarto Lowito, Tulsi Thapa.