Kiren Rijiju, Sports Minister of India, has stated the Government will try to push for the inclusion of Kabaddi in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Even though he did not elaborate on how this will be achieved, he cautioned that the inclusion of a new sport will be a long-drawn and a cumbersome process. This process usually involves intensive lobbying. Rijiju asserted that no matter what the circumstances, the Government is going to put their best forward in pushing the sport. India's kabaddi team achieved bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games held in Indonesia last year, while the women's team won silver after they lost to Iran in the final.
"Kabaddi is a perfect example of how an indigenous sport has grown successfully. This I feel is the beginning of the sports culture that we envisaged for India which is now becoming a reality," Rijiju said in a statement while speaking on KBD Live at Star Sports Studio.
"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.
India which has been a dominant force in Kabaddi has been trying to push hard for its inclusion in the Olympics. In order for a sport to get included in the Olympics, it will have to first get the recognition from the International Olympic Committee. After that, its governing body will have to become a recognised International Federation (IF) of the IOC. The sport's IF will then apply for acceptance as an Olympic sport by filing a petition that establishes its criteria of eligibility. However, after a vote of the IOC session in Lausanne, on June 25, the IOC refused to include any other sports for the programme of the 2024 Olympic Games. Paris, the host country of Olympics 2024 submitted its proposal to include breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing on the programme. The Olympic Programme Commission will conduct an evaluation after which the executive board will make the final decision on the existing events and the proposed new events in 2020.