Home Ministry puts participation of Pakistan on hold for Asian Junior Wrestling Championships

About 6 days left for the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships which is supposed to take place in New Delhi but, previously, news had emerged that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) was yet to get the necessary clearance to host the event in the first place. Latest developments now suggest that despite getting clearance, the Home Ministry (MHA) has not agreed to participation of grapplers from Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to PTI, WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar confirmed that the MHA had indeed provided the clearance pending but said that the participation of wrestlers from these three countries were subject to decisions by agencies. The MHA has reportedly communicated that it will clear participation from Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan in “due course”.

WFI secretary VN Prasood told PTI that the tournament would continue regardless of whether or not Pakistan are given clearance to be a part of it but he also added that this scenario would have lasting consequences. It would be a shambolic representation of Indian authorities in front of United World Wrestling, the parent body for the sport.

“The tournament is on. We have given visa requests for Pakistan also but it all depends on ministry. If Pakistan are not allowed, the world body UWW may not give India tournaments to host in future,” Prasood was quoted as saying.

“It’s not a bilateral meet, it’s an Asian Championship. Pakistan can’t be denied the chance to compete. Pakistan is not at the mercy of India to compete. Only after giving guarante which ensures participation of all countries, we are allotted tournaments,” he continued.

Officials are set to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh today in order to sort out the differences and ensure that the tournament is carried out smoothly. So far, wrestlers from Japan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Korea have been cleared to apply for visas and travel to New Delhi to compete.

More than 300 entries have been received for this tournament which includes about a 100 female entries. 17 countries are in the fray and this tournament will provide the perfect platform to judge our young talent since all the countries participating are known for their feats in the sport.

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