Pakistan has been debarred from the upcoming 12-nation Kabaddi World Cup in India amidst escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Iran will take on newcomers the United States in Friday’s opening round of the tournament, which will also feature Australia, South Korea, England, Poland, Kenya and Argentina.
Confirming the news, International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) chief Deoraj Chaturvedi said that Pakistan has been denied entry in the upcoming tournament because it is not the right time to engage with them.
“Pakistan is a valuable member of the IKF but looking at the current scenario and in the best interest of both the nations, we decided that Pakistan must be refrained from the championship,” Chaturvedi was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, Pakistan accused the IKF of unfairly targeting their country while insisting that both rival nations should have been excluded if there were security concerns.
Comparing his country’s exclusion with that of Football World Cup without Brazil, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation secretary Rana Muhammad Sarwar said that “a Kabaddi World Cup is no world cup without Pakistan.”
Hostilities between the two nations have flared after the Indian Army declared last week that they had carried out surgical strikes across Line of Control (LoC) to neutralise terrorists from crossing over into India.
Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack. The surgical strikes were in response to the terrorist attack at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 19 Indian Army soldiers.