The state government's decision to disallow players from participants countries without a permanent residency (PR) status to participate in the upcoming World Cup Kabaddi (WCK) could substantially weakened the field.
Now, a number of players who were part of the teams for the 2012 edition would not be able to participate, as purportedly they did not have this status, when they participated last year.
These new players will now be pitted against a traditional power house in the sport, the hosts India.
When questioned on this, vice-president of games organising committee, and state education minister Sikander Singh Makula, said: "Only in Canada, America and England, there is some issue with the new rule. Now, young players will get a chance to play and I believe younger players should take and opportunity in this. (Meri samajh vich Je Oh teams Ik var kamjor reh jaange ta agli var takde ho jange)."
"The state government along with union sports ministry decided that all the players should belong to that nation in which they are participating," Maluka added.
He also spoke on a number of issues that have emerged regarding the organisation of the tournament.
Dope testing by NADA
"NADA will have to conduct dope tests from the day the games begin, from December 1. For the Indian team, we had conducted the dope test, still if we had left our somebody or made an error, he should be weeded out sooner rather than later."
Iran visas being cleared
"Accommodation has been arranged for six teams each in Bathinda and Jalandhar. Many leaders and ministers from other nations including the sports ministers of Malaysia and Canada and an MP from New Zealand will be our guests."
He added: "Many teams have arrived and others will reach soon. Others will also reach soon. Iran will reach after their visa is cleared in a day or two."
No bias in selection
Maluka denied any bias in selection of players, even as most members are from the state. He said all Indians were eligible for selection after giving trials.
He claimed: "It is for the first time that we have received some budget for sports. We will provide PT teachers in middle schools along with games."
The 59th National School Games were inaugurated at Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, by education minister Punjab Sikander Singh Maluka. More than 2,100 students from 29 states and 7 UTs are participating in the event, which runs till December 3. Circle Style Kabbadi matches will be held at St Xavier School, and Basketball matches would be held at Police DAV Public School, Sports School Ghudda, and Malwa College Bathinda. Hockey matches will be held at Rajindra College Bathinda.
Unfair selection alleged.
A number of disgruntled players alleged unfair selections in the state team, participating at the vent, with some of them claiming to move Punjab and Haryana High Court soon.
Navjot Singh, a basketball player, in the U-14 category, said: "The state has failed to select deserving players. Players who have not played at any level have been selected. Hardworking players with real caliber have been ignored."