Balbir Singh,CHANDIGARH, DEC 13 : Efforts of the Punjab Government, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, are laudable and sincere in boosting circle kabaddi, the ‘maa’ Game of Punjabis. Since launching of the first World Cup Kabaddi in 2010, the Punjab Government is organizing the 4th Pearls edition in a much bigger scale with lucrative in prize money at stake, increase in participating nations and the women also getting the same status as the men players. Punjab kabaddi players are getting jobs, incentives and training. The Indian Olympic Association should be approached to get circle kabaddi as a demonstration game in the coming Olympic Games. It will be an uphill task. Difficult but not impossible if all agencies stitch their efforts for this sports discipline.
Another big aim of the Government is to properly channelize the energy of youth and keep them away from drug abuse. Introduction of dope test is to make World Cup Kabaddi ‘dope free.” The National Anti-Doping Agency is closely associated in this campaign. Dealing this withan iron hand, the countries participating in the World Cup Kabaddi are selecting their players after proper dope test. The NADA also takes samples of the players for analysis by an accredited agency of the World Anti Doping Agency.
More foreigners are attracted to this fascinating game. And the number is on the increase. The trend has changed as in the first World Cup, the foreign teams comprised players of Punjab origin. Gradually, foreigners have started adopting this Punjab indigenous game. Keyna, New Zealand, Mexico and Denmark and other countries have started systematic training their players with the help of the Indian community in those countries. To further promote circle kabaddi, the Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Sports Minister Sukhbir Badal has announced to send the coaches to train players abroad. The Punjab Government is receiving such requests from foreign countries.
However, the million dollar question remains unanswered whether the WCK, the brain child of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, supported by the Senior Badal Jee, enjoys the ‘sanction’ of the International Kabaddi Federation/Indian Olympic Association/Olympic Council of Asia/Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India.
Extending invitation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members for the next edition of the World Cup Kabaddi will be a good idea.
The forceful statement of Mr Parkash Singh Badal that efforts would be made to get kabaddi (circle style) included in the Olympic Games when the NDA Government is formed at the Centre. The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has also hinted that he would take the issue of getting kabaddi included in the Olympic Games, with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. We wish him and his entire team a success but the crowd pulling kabaddi is to be projected through the Olympic steps. Involvement of State Kabaddi Association, the state Olympic Association, the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and the Indian Olympic Association, the apex sports body is a must. All national teams in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games are sent by the IOA and not by any state or National Government agency. Get the circle kabaddi included in the National Games first to move in the right direction.
No government can decide to include any sports discipline in the Olympic Games. It is the prerogative only of the International Olympic Committee only. A Government can help through NOC but cannot dictate to IOC.
Kabaddi is mainly played in two different styles – national and circle. Both styles are to come under one fold. Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles wrestling are under the umbrella of the Wrestling Federation of India. The Gymnastic Federation of India is manning, rhythmic and artistic competitions. The circle kabaddi at president is mainly confined to Punjab or maximum Haryana. It has not crossed the border of the national Capital.
Good that response from other countries is getting more encouraging. For getting IOC recognition, role of National Olympic Committees is crucial and a must. There is hardly any NOC throghout the world which recognises circle kabaddi or it is played under its banner. In these circumstances, getting circle kabaddi included in the Olympic Games will remain a distance dream. One wonders why all the World Cup Kabaddi are hosted in Punjab only. Who allots the World Cup Kabaddi? If the Punjab Government is the sanctioning authority it cannot be termed as official “World Cup Kabaddi.”
IOC Executive Board has recently advised the Sri Lanka that “A National Olympic Committee is not a Government entity. It is an autonomous organisation with its own legal status, which is primarily governed by the Olympic Charter and its own Constitution.
According to the Olympic Charter, in the case of infringement of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement in the country of an NOC, including suspension of or withdrawal of recognition from such NOC if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered.
It is crystal clear that no Government can interfere in the functioning of the National Olympic Committee.
By law to rules 27 and 28 of the Olympic Charter defines the NOC recognition procedure:
1.1 A national sports organisation applying for recognition as an NOC shall file an application with the IOC demonstrating that the applicant fulfils all conditions prescribed by the Olympic Charter, in particular in Rule 28 and BLR 27 and 28.
1.2 Proof must be adduced that the national federations which are members of the NOC exercise a specific and real on-going sports activity in their country and internationally, in particular by organising and participating in competitions and implementing training programmes for athletes. An NOC shall not recognize more than one national federation for each sport governed by an IF. Such national federations or the representatives chosen by them must constitute the voting majority of the NOC and of its executive organ. At least five national federations included in an NOC must be affiliated to the IFs governing sports included in the programme of the Olympic Games.
1.3 The approval of an applicant’s statutes by the IOC Executive Board is a condition for recognition. The same condition applies to any subsequent change or amendment to the statutes of an NOC. Such statutes shall, at all times, comply with the Olympic Charter to which they must refer expressly. If there is any doubt as to thesignification or interpretation of the statutes of an NOC, or if there is a contradiction between such statutes and the Olympic Charter, the latter takes precedence…..