Controversy started as an unofficial ‘Indian team’ arrived in Pakistan to compete in the World Kabaddi Championship but Indian authorities claimed that no clearance to any players was given.
Soon after news of the Indian athletes arriving in Pakistan surfaced, Kiren Rijiju, current Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India commented on the matter.
"No one has given permission to any Kabaddi player to go to Pakistan. Issuance of giving visa is the sovereign prerogative of a country, we have no role in granting visa. We'll talk to the Kabaddi federation on whether it was an informed visit or not," Rijiju was quoted as saying by news magazine, India Today.
The Indian sports ministry and the national federation also claimed that they have not given clearance to any athlete for competing in Pakistan.
‘Indian team’ arrives in Pakistan
According to reports, the team of players from India reached Lahore on Saturday via the Wagah Border to take part in the championship, being hosted by Pakistan for the first time.
Images and clips of the players arriving in Pakistan were shared online.
"The sports ministry and the ministry of external affairs have not granted any permission to any team, which is mandatory while representing the country at any international event," an anonymous sports ministry source told PTI, India Today reported.
The administrator of Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India (AKFI) S.P. Garg also said that the entity 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 was quoted as saying.
"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," he added.
The players have not seemed to have commented on the issue so far.
Kabaddi World Cup 2020 Pakistan
Australia, England, Germany, Iran, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Canada are amongst the teams taking part in the event.
The winner of the tournament will get 10 million Pakistani rupees (Dh 237,707), while the runner ups will get 7.5 million rupees (Dh 178,280).
The tournament opened on Sunday at the Punjab Football Stadium in Lahore followed by some matches which will also be held in Faisalabad and Gujrat. The event ends on February 16.
According to Pakistani media reports, 14 matches of Kabaddi World Cup 2020 will be played at Punjab Stadium in Lahore, eight matches at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad and two matches will be staged at Zahoor Elahi Stadium in Gujrat.