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Global wrestling body bans Wrestling Federation of India in major setback

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) faces suspension by UWW due to election failures and controversies.

Edited By : Mayank Kasyap | Updated: Aug 24, 2023 13:17 IST
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Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (Photo Credit: ANI File)
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (Photo Credit: ANI File)

New Delhi: In a seismic setback for Indian wrestling, the global wrestling authority, United World Wrestling (UWW), has announced the suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). This punitive measure comes in the wake of the federation’s failure to execute timely elections, casting a cloud over the nation’s wrestling future.

UWW’s decisive move

The United World Wrestling (UWW), the apex body governing the sport globally, delivered a crushing blow to Indian wrestling by suspending the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The suspension, effective immediately, has left the future of Indian wrestling hanging in uncertainty.

A series of setbacks

The suspension was an inevitable outcome given the recent turmoil surrounding the WFI. The federation has been embroiled in a series of controversies since the inception of 2023. Scheduled to conduct elections in June of the same year, the WFI found itself repeatedly postponing this pivotal process due to the prevailing controversies.

Unrest and legal battles

The postponements were fueled by two significant factors – fervent protests from Indian wrestlers directed towards outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and legal petitions from multiple state units. The calls for action against Singh gained momentum following allegations of sexual harassment, contributing to the delay in the electoral process.

Olympians spearheaded the protests

Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, along with Asian Games medalist Vinesh Phogat, emerged as prominent figures in the protests against the perceived inaction towards Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Singh, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a Member of Parliament, found himself under the scrutiny of the wrestling community and the nation.

The suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) by the United World Wrestling (UWW) sends ripples through the Indian wrestling landscape. With Olympic stars leading the charge against administrative failures, the nation’s wrestling future hangs in the balance. The resolution of these controversies and the conduct of overdue elections will be critical to resurrecting the reputation and prospects of Indian wrestling on the global stage.

First published on: Aug 24, 2023 01:06 PM IST

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