• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sports

West Midlands ‘delighted’ to host Kabaddi World Cup 2025

Kabaddi is the fastest-growing sport in south Asia and the second-most popular after cricket

: (From left) Ashok Das, president of World and England Kabaddi; Bhupinder Gakhal; and Wolverhampton mayor, councillor Dr Michael Hardacre

By: Joe Sweeney

WOLVERHAMPTON will host the 2025 Kabaddi World Cup final, after being awarded £500,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the government’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund to help with costs.

Originating in India some 5,000 years ago, the contact sport sees teams broken down into raiders and blockers. Points are scored by players entering opposition territory, tagging an opponent and making it back into their own half without being tackled to the ground.

Kabaddi is the fastest-growing sport in south Asia and the second-most popular after cricket. It is now played in more than 50 countries.

The knockout stages of the men’s and women’s World Cup will be held at Aldersley Leisure Village in March next year.

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal (Labour, Blakenhall), and cabinet member for the visitor city, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the 2025 Kabaddi World Cup in Wolverhampton and the West Midlands. We’re looking forward to welcoming men’s and women’s teams from around the globe and to hosting the finals, semi-finals and quarter-finals in our city.

“Events of this scale bring direct and indirect economic benefit and put Wolverhampton firmly on the map as a destination of choice for visitors.”

Aldersley is already the home of topclass international darts and snooker. It will stage the quarter-finals, while the newly refurbished Halls will host the semi-finals and final.

As well as staging the group matches alongside Birmingham, Coventry and Walsall, Wolverhampton will also host the opening event as the West Midlands becomes the first destination outside of Asia to host the sport’s most prestigious tournament. It will feature the world’s best Kabaddi players from leading men’s and women’s teams, including India, Iran and Pakistan.

The 2025 Kabaddi World Cup is being organised by England Kabaddi, Scottish Kabaddi and the British Kabaddi League. The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) – the region’s official economic development agency – will support the event to ensure its impact is felt across the West Midlands and the UK.

Wolverhampton has also been awarded a further £390,000 to host the West Midlands Urban Sports event from September 6-8 this year. (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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