First and foremost I would like to extend World Kabaddi’s sincere thanks to His Excellency the Governor for your acceptance to grace this launch. His Excellency’s attendance is a great boost as we continue on our arduous task of promoting and developing the sport of kabaddi globally.
I would like to extend the apologies from the World Kabaddi president Mr Ashok Kumar, who has been tied down with other duties in England.
On behalf of the president and the executive committee, I would like to congratulate the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation in accepting our request to host the World Cup Kabaddi 2019 in Melaka.
This is an unenviable task and takes plenty of hardwork to come to a bloom. However, we have full trust and believe in the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation to deliver a memorable and outstanding competition next April.
I had the pleasure of attending the International Kabaddi Challenge in the city of Johor Bahru in June earlier this year. Having seen the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation committee putting this tournament together in less than two weeks-notice following the last minute withdrawal of Singapore, I am confident that World Cup 2019 is in good hands.
World Kabaddi is one of the youngest international sports governing body, having been consolidated only in March this year. However, World Kabaddi now has more than 50 affiliated members from all continents. The numbers are slowly but surely climbing as more and more countries are knocking at our doors to join the kabaddi family.
A number of important tournaments have been lined over the next 12 months including the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League in India in January. This will be a professional league featuring players from all over the world and I am also made to understand from Malaysia.
The Africa Cup 2018 would also be held in Kenya in December while World Cup in Melaka is our cornerstone tournament at the international arena.
I myself come from Australia where the game has seen a resurgence in recent times. Rest assured Australia would be participating with our best teams at the World Cup 2019.
In the same way, many countries have already started their selections and training in preparation for the World Cup in Melaka.
World Kabaddi would be working closely with the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation as well as our member countries to ensure the success of the World Cup.
We do expect approximately 40 countries making their way to Melaka with their respective teams in both the men’s and women’s competition.
World Kabaddi hopes that the World Cup 2019 would act as a catalyst to the game of kabaddi getting a much stronger foothold in existing kabaddi playing nations and penetrate into newer countries.
This is a game of power and agility and competitive enough to be visually attractive for both the spectators and brands wanting to promote themselves.
World Kabaddi do hope that sponsors would come forward and assist the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation in ensuring a memorable World Cup in Melaka.
World Kabaddi is also made to understand that the Melaka State government have indicated their support to the hosting the World Cup in Melaka. The World Cup coincides with the Melaka Historical Day and the tournament would prove to be not only a sporting extravaganza but also a viable sports tourism tool for the state.
World Kabaddi’s theme is One Vision, One Spirit, One Kabaddi and with the support of all parties I am sure that the World Cup Kabaddi, Melaka 2019 would be major success.
Once again I would like to thank His Excellency the Governor of Melaka for his support and also to all others including the state government, supporters, sponsors, well-wishers and the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation for giving World Kabaddi us the opportunity be expand our kabaddi family in the state of Melaka.
Jagjit Singh Gurm
President Kabaddi Oceania