New Delhi: Seven-time champions and favourites India will face South Korea in the opening match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, to be held in Ahmedabad from 7 to 22 October. The South Koreans will be a tricky first opponents for India as they aim to win their eighth straight World Cup in Ahmedabad. The Koreans boast players like Jan Kun Lee and Tae Deok Eom who have made their mark in the Pro Kabaddi League.
Besides hosts India, other participating nations in the tournament are USA, England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan, Argentina and Kenya.
The 12 teams have been divide in two groups of six each. While Group A consists of India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Australia, England and Argentina, Group B will have Iran, Thailand, Japan, USA, Poland and Kenya.
The semi-finals of the tournament will be held on 21 October with the summit clash slated for the next day.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday announced the schedule and also unveiled the logo of the tournament -- the famous "Asiatic Lion".
Goel also congratulated the Indian paralympians who had won medals in the ongoing Rio Paralympic Games on the occasion.
"In Rio Olympics our preparation was very good but we didn't have luck on our side. But in the Paralympics we are doing very well. It's a matter of pride that we have four medals in Paralympics. When the paralympians will return we will felicitate them," he said.
International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) president Janardan Singh Gehlot, meanwhile, said their aim now is to take the sport to the Olympics.
"We already took kabaddi to Asiad but now we want to take it to the Olympics. We want people to play kabaddi all across the world," he said.
7th October: India vs South Korea, USA vs Iran
8th October: England vs Bangladesh, Poland vs Kenya, India vs Australia
9th October: South Korea vs Argentina, USA vs Japan, Thailand vs Iran
10th October: England vs Australia, Thailand vs Poland
11th October: Iran vs Kenya, India vs Bangladesh
12th October: Poland vs Japan, Australia vs Argentina
13th October: Thailand vs Kenya, Bangladesh vs South Korea
14th October: England vs Argentina, USA vs Poland
15th October: South Korea vs Australia, Iran vs Japan, India vs Argentina
16th October: Thailand vs USA, England vs South Korea, Japan vs Kenya
17th October: Poland vs Iran, Australia vs Bangladesh
18th October: USA vs Kenya, India vs England
19th October: Bangladesh vs Argentina, Thailand vs Japan
21st October: Semi-finals
22nd October: Final
With inputs from PTI