- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

Officials in India have announced the formation of a professional Olympic wrestling league that promises to be the richest in the sport’s history.

The inaugural Indian Wrestling League says it will offer $3.5 million in auction and prize money for its 18-day tournament. The league will feature six teams based in various Indian cities, and each franchise will host a two-day leg for a total of 168 matches. Dates were not released.

The league will host men’s and women’s wrestling in a team format. The IWL also promises to have its matches broadcast to an international audience of more than 120 million.

Officials say that wrestling has a huge following in rural India and that the IWL hopes to make the sport more popular in India’s largest cities.

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