Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event


The Kabaddi World Cup is an international Kabaddi tournament organized by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF).

The tournament features national teams from around the world competing in the sport of kabaddi, which is a contact team sport that originated in ancient India.

Kabaddi World Cup

The World Cup was first held in 2004 in Mumbai, India, and has been held several times since then, with the most recent tournament being the 2016 edition held in Punjab, India.

The tournament has seen participation from countries such as India, Pakistan, Iran, South Korea, and Bangladesh, among others.

Kabaddi World Cup Format

The format of the tournament typically involves a group stage followed by knockout rounds, with the winners of the final being crowned as champions of the World Kabaddi.

The tournament has helped to promote the sport of kabaddi globally and has played a key role in its growth and development as an international sport.

History of Kabaddi World Cups

1. 2004 World Cup Kabaddi

The inaugural World Cup Kabaddi took place in Mumbai, India, spanning from March 28 to April 4, 2004. The tournament boasted teams from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the host nation of India. The International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) orchestrated this momentous event.

The Indian team emerged victorious in the championship match against Pakistan with a commanding score of 58-24.

Anup Kumar, a renowned kabaddi player who would later go on to become one of the sport's most accomplished athletes, led the Indian squad to victory. The World Cup was a resounding triumph and contributed significantly to the global recognition of kabaddi as a sport.

Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event

2. 2007 Kabaddi World Cup

The World Cup's second edition took place in Panvel, India, from March 20 to 24, 2007. Teams from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Canada, and the United States participated in the tournament which was organized by the IKF for a second time. 

The tournament witnessed India claim victory for the second consecutive time as they overpowered Iran with a score of 29-19 in the final.

The Indian team had some the star players like Manjeet Chhillar and Deepak Niwas Hooda while Iran was led by captain Mohammad Taher Maghsoudlou. The event turned out to be a massive success and played a significant role in establishing kabaddi as an international sport.

Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event

3. 2016 World Cup Kabaddi

The most recent Kabaddi World Cup was held in Ahmedabad, India, from October 7 to 22, 2016. The tournament featured teams from India, Iran, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Bangladesh, Australia, England, Argentina, and Kenya, and was organized by the IKF.

Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event


The top team from Group A, India, went head-to-head with the third-placed team from Group B, England. It was a comfortable victory for India with a 69-18 scoreline, securing their place in the semifinals. 
On the other side of the bracket, Group B's top team Iran faced off against Thailand, who were placed third in Group A. Iran put on an impressive performance and won convincingly with a score of 64-23 to progress to the semifinals. 

The second-placed teams from both groups clashed as Bangladesh took on South Korea. It was a closely contested match with Bangladesh ultimately emerging victorious by a narrow margin of 35-32 to secure their spot in the semifinals.

In another thrilling quarterfinal match-up, Japan (Group B's third-placed team) battled it out against the United States (Group A's top team). Japan emerged victorious after a closely fought battle with a final score of 38-32.


Moving onto the semifinals where India took on Thailand in what turned out to be an easy win for India as they dominated throughout and clinched victory with an impressive scoreline of 73-20.

In the second semifinal match-up between Iran and South Korea, Iran displayed their prowess once again winning comfortably by scoring 28 points against South Korea's 22 points securing their place in the final.


The final saw defending champions India take on Iran where they put up an outstanding display winning by nine points with a final scoreline of 38-29 thereby retaining their Kabaddi World Cup title for two consecutive years.

Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event

Top Defenders

Player Pts
Surjeet 23
Fazel Atracheli 22
Manjeet Chhillar 22
James Odhiamboobi 22
Surender Nada 21

Top Raiders

Player Pts
Ajay Thakur 64
Khomsan Thongkham 56
Md Aruduzzaman Munshi 54
Temi Tope Adewalure 51
Pardeep Narwal 47

Best Raider: Ajay Thakur

Best Defender: Surjeet 

Emerging Team: Kenya

Emerging Player: Jang Kun Lee

Best Umpire: S.K Monu

Upcoming World Cup of Kabaddi:

The World Kabaddi has announced that the 2025 Kabaddi World Cup will be hosted in the West Midlands, making it the first destination outside of Asia to hold this prestigious global tournament.

The sport is played in over 50 countries under World Kabaddi auspices, and the British Kabaddi League has recently launched ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

The tournament is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2025 and will feature leading men's and women's teams from India, Iran, Pakistan, and other countries.

This announcement was made on November 11th (Friday) in New Delhi, where World Kabaddi is also expected to announce soon on hosting the World Cups in 2023 and 2024.

West Midlands to Host 2025 Kabaddi World Cup

The West Midlands trade mission to India revealed this exciting news as part of its week-long mission aimed at creating opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between India, the West Midlands, and the wider UK.

The event will be organized by England Kabaddi, Scottish Kabaddi, and British Kabaddi League with plans for a Business and Trade event showcasing Indian businesses in West Midlands.

Kabaddi World Cup: Format, History & Upcoming Mega Event

What President of World Kabaddi has to say?

According to Ashok Das - President of the World Kabaddi and England Kabaddi said

“awarding this prestigious tournament to West Midlands was a straightforward decision as it promotes positive community engagement while celebrating cultural diversity & inclusion along with its love for sports.”

Das further added that kabaddi is a sport for everyone regardless of age or social background.

Bottom Line

To summarize- The announcement about hosting the 2025 Kabaddi world cup has been made by World Kabaddi which will be held in West Midlands making it its first destination outside Asia.

The leading teams from different countries including India and Pakistan are expected to take part during the first quarter of the year creating opportunities between India, the west midland & wider UK.

The event will be organized by England Kabaddi, Scottish Kabaddi & British kabaddi league.