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Centre should probe Kabaddi players' participation in World Championship in Pakistan: IOA president

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra on Monday said the government should probe Kabaddi players who went to Pakistan to participate in the World Championship without the consent of any sporting body.

"I think the Government of India and Punjab government will look into the matter -- who are these people and what is their motive? As far as I'm concerned hearing from all the quarters, this is not our team, which has gone outside India," Batra told ANI.

"Further action will be taken by the Government of India's agencies. They will probe who are they and why they went to Pakistan. This matter should be probed thoroughly to find out the agenda behind this," he added.

Batra further said that they are not 'team India' as they are not recognised by the government body and also not participating in any international event.

"The team's participation is under the National Federation. IOA's role comes in major events like the Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games. But in any case, overall responsibility is of IOA. AKFI has said they did not send anyone. Ministry is saying that they too have not granted any permission nor anybody asked for it," he said.

According to the procedure for participation in overseas events, the national federation needs to communicate to the Ministry which in turn writes to the Ministry of External Affairs for political clearance and the Home Ministry for security clearance, irrespective of whether the government is funding the contingent or not.

"Everbody knows our relation with Pakistan. If I apply for a visa, it would take two months to get it. This is strange that these 60 people got visa so quickly. They can't use India's name as they are not recognised by the Government of India, IOA, and NSF," he added.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said that no Indian player was given permission to participate in the World Kabaddi Championship in Pakistan.

"Nobody has given permission to any Kabaddi player to go to Pakistan. The issuance of visa is the sovereign prerogative of a country. We have no role in granting the visa," Rijiju told ANI.

"We'll talk to the Kabaddi Federation to find out whether it was an informed visit or not. With regard to visa, we have no role. But playing in the name of country or India's flag being used, these are the matters to be investigated," he added.

The administer of Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) Justice SP Garg said the body never gave any permission to any Kabaddi team to play in Pakistan and legal action may be taken against the defaulters.

"AKFI has no information about any Kabaddi team having gone to Pakistan. No permission was ever granted by the AKFI to any team to go to Pakistan and play any Kabaddi match there. We came to know about it only after the information was sought. AKFI does not support any such activity. Legal action may be taken against the defaulters," Garg said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 10 2020. 20:15 IST