October 3, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone will be one of three African nations invited by the Punjab Government to compete in this year’s Kabaddi World Cup, scheduled for November 3 and 17.
Tanzania, Kenya and Sierra Leone are the three teams invited from Africa, while Canada, USA, Australia, England, Iran, New Zealand, Spain and Argentina are all expected to participate in this year’s tournament.
According to the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, the 15 days competition will be played across 14 venues in India, with the opening ceremony set for Roopnagar while Jalalabad (Fazilka) is the venue for the closing ceremony.
The Deputy Chief Minister said: “The matches would be played at 14 different stadiums in 14 districts. The tournament will be played in a round robin format with the top two teams in each pool progresses to semi-finals and a final.”
According to Singh Badal, matches will be decided on the basis of points a team gains during ‘Raids’. A Raider enters the opposition half of the court, which in the beginning will have seven players or defenders. A point is won when the raider initiates a touch on one or more of the defenders, with every touch being counted as a point. The raider can also gain points for the team by making it to the bonus line.
Sierra Leone last competed in the Kabaddi World Cup in 2013, and the following year, the team was stopped by the Indian Kabaddi Federation to attend the 5th World Cup.
Head of Kabaddi in Africa, Samir Jasal, who also doubles as the President for Sierra Leone Kabaddi Federation, citied the Ebola scourge as the reason for their decision.