Formidable Iran and novices clash the Usa in Friday’s opening round of the contest that also comprises top sides from England, Australia, South Korea, Poland, Kenya and Argentina.
With the World Cup last staged nine years ago, teams are relishing the opportunity to compete in the two-week event being held in India’s western city of Ahmedabad.
But the traditional South Asian sport that is growing in popularity and blends tag and wrestling was hit with controversy over a decision to exclude Pakistan that was highly fancied.
International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) leader Deoraj Chaturvedi, who is from India, said Pakistan has been refused entry due to a spike in tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries.
“This is not the right time to engage with Pakistan,” Chaturvedi told AFP.
“Pakistan is a valuable person in the IKF but looking at in the best interest of both states, we determined that Pakistan must be refrained from the championship and the present scenario.”
Pakistan accused of targeting the country, saying both rival states the IKF should have already been excluded if there were security concerns.
“we’ve called a meeting to discuss this issue but allow me to tell you that a Kabaddi World Cup is no world cup without Pakistan, Pakistan kabaddi federation secretary Rana Muhammad Sarwar was said by ”. This is just like a soccer world cup ” Sarwar told AFP.
“ by conquering on India We were expecting to win the world cup in India,” Ali told AFP, adding that devotees were being refused matches between the top two sides.
Hostilities between the nations have flared after India said it conducted military strikes inside Pakistan against militants, starting fury.
The strikes came after gunmen staged the most deadly attack on an Indian army base in greater than a decade, which an enraged New Delhi blamed on Pakistani-based militants.
The World Cup comes as the ancient game, played across India for generations in sandy parks and once labeled with a dowdy image, is enjoying a fresh lease of life.
The Pro Kabaddi League, launched with live television coverage, corporate patrons and gaily coloured lyrca strips, drawn players and has proved extremely popular.
Iran’s skipper Meraj Sheykh, who has played in the league’s last three variants, said his side had not grown weaker by playing in India and other international tournaments.
“ they have the experience of playing in India and we’ve more young players playing for us,” Sheykh told the Times of India paper.
Kabaddi demands yoga-like breathing abilities as two seven -member teams send a raider to label an adversary before returning — in just one breath.
The game is played in around 35 states, but it is dominated by India.
Iran, who lost in the preceding two world cup finals in 2007 and 2004, have a relatively easy first match against first-timers USA.
An opening-day double header will also see India lock horns. A round-robin tournament, the top two sides from the pools will qualify for the semis.