‘Kabaddi in Olympics a distant dream, invest in other sports’
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While the chief minister and his deputy are making tall claims of taking circle-style Kabaddi into the Olympics, sportspersons and former Olympians have called it a political statement to please the votebank. Circle-style Kabaddi has not even been recognised by the Indian Olympics Association and stands little chance to enter Olympics any time soon, they claimed.
Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of Punjab Basketball Association, said: "Punjab style or circle-style Kabaddi has not even been recognised at the national level. Even in Asian Games, Kabaddi is played as a demo game. So taking circle-style Kabaddi to Olympics seems to be a distant dream."
"Such things do allure the votebank who are largely connected with this rural sport. The government must spend on games in which we have the potential to win," he added.
Harbans Singh, former state co-ordinator of Sports Authority of India, said: "We are happy to see our rural sport is being promoted, but boxing, athletics, shooting, rowing basketball, wrestling, which are recognised in the Olympics, need equal exposure. Punjab has great potential in winning medals in these sports."
'Will try for Kabaddi in Asian Games'
Abhay Singh Chautala, the new president of the Indian Olympic Association, said the association will try its best to promote circle-style Kabaddi and try for its inclusion in the Asian Games and the Olympics.