CHANDIGARH: Punjab is all set to witness biggest ever 15 day long sports extravaganza as 16 countries from all continents would descend in Punjab to participate in 3rd edition of World Cup Kabaddi from December 1 to 15, 2012.
While reviewing its preparations, the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced doubling of prize money for women team from Rs. 25 lakh to 51 lakh for the winner, Rs 15 lakh to 31 lakh for the runners-up and Rs 10 to 21 lakh for the third position. In men category the prize money has already been doubled to Rs. 2 crore for winner, Rs. 1 crore for runners-up and Rs. 51 lakh for the third position.
Badal said that he was happy that for the first time teams from European and African countries are participating in the World Cup Kabaddi.
He said that 16 countries including England, Afghanistan, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Norway, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Scotland, Argentina, Italy, Iran, Kenya and USA have given their consent to participate in the world cup. He said that in the women section 7 countries including India, Canada, Denmark, England, Turkmenistan, USA and Malaysia would vie for record Rs. 1.43 crore prize money.
The Deputy CM said that the opening ceremony at Bathinda on 1st December would be a star studded show with latest laser show that would put Olympic inauguration to a shade. He said that his basic purpose was to popularize Kabaddi to every country in all continents so that it could get its recognition in the Olympics. Mr. Badal said that Director Sports of International Olympic Association has commended the efforts of Punjab Government in popularizing the traditional game and taking it to World Cup level.
Badal said that World Cup Kabaddi matches would be held at 13 venues at Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Sangrur, Roop Nagar, Doda, Chohla Sahib, Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Mansa, Bathinda, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. He said that men teams would be stationed at Jalandhar and Bathinda whereas women teams would be stationed at Ludhiana.
Expressing happiness over massive response to Kabaddi especially by women participants, Badal said that for the first time 200 probables came for trial from all over India and trial had to be extended for two days to complete the selection process.
Issuing directions for ensuring total dope-free world Cup Badal said that his sole message of popularizing sports was to wean away youth from the drugs. He said that Ministry of Sports and National Anti Dope Agency has already been requested to ensure Dope Test of all players and an Anti Dope Committee has already been setup.
Badal said that Rs. 40 lakh has already been set aside for Dope testing facilities and he warned that players failing dope test would have to forgo their prize money and they would be banned for next two years. Badal said that all participating countries have been sent strict advisory by World Cup Kabaddi Organsing Committee that they should ensure their cooperation in conducting dope free World Cup.
Secretary Sports P.S. Aujla, informed that the Punjab Government has already got no objection from various authorities and a committee under ADGP Hardeep Dhillon has been constituted for ensuing foolproof security to the participating teams.