The International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) today announced the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, set to take place in October. India will host 12 Kabaddi teams from around the world including USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Iran, Poland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and Kenya apart from hosts India.

Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot, President, International Kabaddi Federation said “The International Kabaddi Federation is immensely proud that Kabaddi is growing in popularity so fast and is all set to breakthrough on a global stage with the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup scheduled in India. We are committed to nurturing the sport across the globe. The phenomenal success of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi and the participation of players from around the world is a testament to kabaddi’s promise as a global sport. We are delighted and proud to have India host 12 countries for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.”

IKF officials point out that they are taking special care to ensure that the selection of the participant teams for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup is representative of every Olympic geography. Drawing attention to this, Yeong Hak Hoon, Secretary General – IKF, and Secretary of the Korea Kabaddi Federation said,  “Kabaddi is growing in popularity in Korea and several other countries, especially due to the phenomenal Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League that is being telecast across the world by Star Sports. We really do envision that Kabaddi will be an Olympics sport one day. Korea has already commenced preparations for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup”.

Mohammad Raza Maghsodlou, Vice President of the Asian Kabaddi Federation and Secretary, Kabaddi Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, stated that the 12 participating countries are already engaged with training and other preparations for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. “Iran sees a global future for Kabaddi. Of course, the team from Iran is very good and we will participate with a view of lifting the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup”.  Significantly, the Iranian team gave the Indian side a close fight in the finals of the 2014 Asian Games Kabaddi competition. Several Iranian players are star performers at the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league and much sought after by the league franchises.       

Kabaddi became a part of Asian Games in the year 1990 and India has won all the gold medals since.

Star Sports will be the official broadcaster of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. All matches will be telecast exclusively on the Star Sports network and Hotstar. Over the past two years, Star India has been instrumental in fuelling the growth of Kabaddi through Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league. Season 4 of the league has just concluded at Hyderabad’s Gachibowli Stadium.