WFI Election 2023 / Indian Wrestling Federation Membership Suspended

Zoom News : Aug 24, 2023, 11:45 PM
WFI Election 2023: United World Wrestling (UWW) on Thursday canceled the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). UWW wrote a letter to the Wrestling Federation of India on 30 May. It was said in this that if the Indian Wrestling Association is not elected for the next 45 days i.e. till July 15, the membership will be suspended. The WFI is already in trouble following allegations of sexual harassment leveled against its former president Brij Bhushan Singh by some women wrestlers. Now after losing the membership of the union, this is a big blow for the Indian wrestlers.

After this decision, Indian wrestlers will no longer be able to play under the Indian flag in the Men's World Wrestling Championship to be held in Serbia from 16 to 22 September. Indian wrestlers will have to compete under the UWW banner in this Olympic-qualifying championship. They will be counted in the category of 'Authorized Neutral Athlete' (ANA).

What is Authorized Neutral Athlete Category?

Athletes from the respective country participate in international competitions in case of a dispute under the 'Authorised Neutral Athlete' (ANA) category. Athletes in this category do not play under the flag of their country but under the banner of the international organization that organizes the competition.

Not only this, if the players participating as 'neutral athletes' win medals, then those medals are not even counted in their country's medals. In case of winning a medal, the national anthem of his country is not even played in the award ceremony.

Indian wrestlers will also have to play as 'Authorised Neutral Athletes' (ANA) in the World Wrestling Championships starting in Serbia from September 16 following the cancellation of WFI membership. He will not be able to participate in it under the flag of India or under the banner of WFI.

At the 2017 IAAF World Championships, 19 Russian athletes were approved to compete as neutral athletes. A total of 8 athletes competed as neutral athletes at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships and 9 at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships.

A total of 30 athletes took part in the 2019 European Athletics Championships and a total of 29 athletes took part in the 2019 World Championships in Doha as neutral athletes.

The High Court has stayed the election till August 28.

In January and April this year, wrestlers led by Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia demonstrated at Delhi's Jantar Mantar. The wrestlers have accused the then WFI President Brij Bhushan Singh of sexual harassment.

After the controversy, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) dissolved the WFI and formed an adhoc committee and entrusted it with the responsibility of conducting the election of new office-bearers of the WFI. The adhoc committee fixed August 12 as the date of polling.

A day before the voting, the Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA) led by Congress MP Deepender Hooda challenged it in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The HWA argued that it has not been given voting rights in the elections, even though it is affiliated with the WFI and the Haryana Olympic Association.

HWA said that in its place Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association (HAWA) has been given voting rights which is wrong. After hearing the arguments of the HWA, the High Court stayed the WFI elections till 28 August. The next hearing of the matter in the court is to be held on August 28.

Dipendra accused of inciting wrestlers

Brij Bhushan Singh has been accusing HWA President Deepender Hooda of instigating women wrestlers to stage a sit-in against him. He says that Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Sangeeta Phogat are being used by Dipendra against him.

Brij Bhushan's aide Sanjay Singh in fray for WFI President

The final list of candidates for the new office bearers of WFI has been released. There is a contest between 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Anita Sheoran and UP's Sanjay Singh for the post of president. Sanjay Singh is considered close to Brij Bhushan.

Anita Sheoran is a key witness against Brij Bhushan in the case of sexual harassment of women wrestlers. Anita Sheoran, a resident of Bhiwani, is the only woman candidate to contest the WFI elections. He is known to be a supporter of the wrestlers protesting against the Union Sports Ministry and Brij Bhushan.

Brij Bhushan was not ready for Haryanvi candidate

Brij Bhushan Singh was not ready for any Haryanvi candidate in WFI election. He disagreed with the names of Devendra Singh Kadian, Anita Sheoran and Premchand Lochab, who belong to Haryana. He wanted that Uttarakhand Wrestling Federation President Satpal Singh or someone belonging to any state other than Haryana should be given the command of WFI.

Satpal Singh is considered special of Brij Bhushan Singh. However, officials of the ministry and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) did not want someone close to Brij Bhushan to take over as president. Finally Sanjay Singh's name was put forward.

Politics has heated up after United World Wrestling canceled the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Deepender Hooda and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee have blamed the central government for this.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the elections of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) till August 28. The High Court has imposed this ban on the petition of Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA). Union elections were to be held today i.e. on 12th August.

The HWA alleges that the Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association (HAWA) has been allowed to participate in this election instead of them, even though they are affiliated with the WFI and the Haryana Olympic Association.

Six wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, who protested against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan, have been exempted from trial. Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt got angry on giving exemption to these wrestlers. He said- Was this the aim of the players who staged the sit-in? it's a dark day for wrestling

There was a clash between the police and the wrestlers protesting in front of the new Parliament building. Wrestlers were going towards the new parliament by crossing the barricades. The police stopped them and took Bajrang Punia, Vinesh-Sangita Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others into custody. After this, the police removed the tents, chairs and other items from the picket site at Jantar Mantar and completely vacated it at 4 pm.

Wrestlers protesting against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Singh have postponed the decision to throw their medals in the Ganges at Har Ki Pauri. Wrestlers had reached Haridwar to show off their medals. Naresh Tikait, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union reached there as soon as the news broke.