New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that the government will be pushing hard for the inclusion of Kabaddi in the 2024 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Paris.
“As a Sports Minister, I am very excited and have always thought of how to promote indigenous sports in a big way. Kabaddi is a perfect example of how an indigenous sport has grown successfully,” Rijiju said while speaking on KBD Live on Star Sports.
“This I feel is the beginning of the sports culture that we envisaged for India which is now becoming a reality. We will definitely push hard for Kabaddi to be part of the next Olympics as we are a billion plus powerful nation and so for this to become possible, we will have to put all our efforts together, but I am very confident about it,” he added.
Kabaddi is part of the Asian Games but not of Olympics. In 1936, it however, was played as a demonstration sport at the Berlin Olympics.
For a sport to be included in the Olympics, it must be played by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents.
There are 40 countries who have their national Kabaddi teams. Twelve countries participated in the Kabaddi World Cup 2016 in Ahmedabad.
At the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia, Iran became the first country outside of India to win gold medals in Kabaddi, with India’s men’s team winning bronze, and India’s women’s team being beaten by Iran to win silver.