The 2019 Kabaddi World Cup, to be organised by the Punjab government, will be held from December 1 to 9, state’s Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said on Wednesday. He also said that this year’s tournament would be dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Sodhi said nine teams — India, USA, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan and Canada — are expected to take part in the tournament.

In a meeting on Wednesday at the Punjab Bhawan with Deputy Commissioners of all the districts besides the top officers of the Sports Department, the minister confirmed that the sporting extravaganza will be held in the state in month of December.

He, however, informed that Pakistan and Canada are yet to get clearance from the Indian government. “Barring, Pakistan and Canada, all teams have got NOC from the Central Government. The NOC with regard to these two countries is still awaited,” he said in an official statement.

The inauguration of the event would be held on December 1 at Guru Nanak Stadium, Sultanpur Lodhi and four matches would be held that day.

The closing ceremony would be held at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Stadium in Dera Baba Nanak.

Besides, two matches each would also be played at Guru Nanak Stadium in Amritsar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Stadium in Ferozepur, Sports Stadium in Bathinda and Sports Stadium YPS in Patiala.

The semifinals would be held at Charanganga sports stadium in Sri Anandpur Sahib.