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 Will talk to govt after May 23 on Pakistan’s participation : IOA
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Will talk to govt after May 23 on Pakistan’s participation : IOA

Agency News

New Delhi, May 16 : Indian Olympic Association General Secretary Rajeev Mehta on Thursday said the IOA will have a talk on the issue of sports relations with Pakistan, once a new government is installed after 23rd May.The statement came at a news conference for the launch of India's first Kho-Kho League at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium. On the participation of foreign players in the upcoming league, IOA General Secretary said, ''Players from 22 countries have requested to be a part of the the Kho-Kho League, among which Pakistanis are also involved. After the formation of the government, we will discuss the issue whether Pakistani players can be made part of the league.''
Tensions
When asked, how the permission will be given to Pakistan players to play in the league, when there is tension between the two nations, Mr Mehta said, ''It's not about Kho-Kho League only, other games are also suffering because of this issue. We have to face difficulties before the International Olympic Committee regarding sports relations with Pakistan and IOA can be at risk of being isolated in the sports world. "
IOC had earlier revoked the Olympic qualification status of a shooting event in New Delhi after India refused to grant visa to two Pakistani athletes and an official in the wake of the Pulwama terror in February.

The world body banned India from hosting future events and urged international sports federations not to stage competitions in the country.In recent times, India hosted a number of leagues across sports but none of them had the participation of Pakistan players.
Launch
Now, India's first ‘Ultimate Kho Kho’ league is all set to get launched in November this year with a format which will not only give a new look to the game but will also help to popularise it.The league will see some interesting features like the introduction of 'wazir', who is free to run either left or right in the wing but cannot cross the centre line."We brought in the concept of wazir to make it more modern, more exciting and more youth friendly. we are confident that people will enjoy this new approach and style that this traditional sport will bring," said Sudhanshu Mittal, KKFI president.

The 28-minute match will have a round of seven minutes each, with four turns in two innings. Besides, other innovative rules, instant replacement of defenders has also been introduced with two reviews per innings.Amit Burman, vice chairman, Dabur Foods and promoter of the league said, "Our vision is to spread the sport to every corner and we will do whatever is required to build a successful sport league.The league will have eight franchises across eight Indian cities and 15 members will make up every team out of which two will be international players and two under-18 players, with an aim to develop the sport at the grassroot level. (UNI)