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2019 World Wrestling Championships

Wrestling Federation of India sacks Iranian coach for bringing 'VIP culture'

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has sacked men’s freestyle coach Hossein Karimi

Wrestling Federation of India sacks Iranian coach for bringing VIP culture

Karan Vinod

Published: 4 Oct 2019 7:02 AM GMT

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has sacked men’s freestyle coach Hossein Karimi, who had been in charge of the Indian men's freestyle wrestling contingent for only six months.

"He (Karimi) was following a VIP culture and it was increasingly becoming difficult to cope with his demands. We have intimated SAI about this. We are looking for a new coach,” WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar was quoted by PTI.

When asked to be more specific on what the problem was, Tomar revealed that the Iranian coach always insisted on private rooms when everyone else stayed on a sharing basis. Even at the World Championships in Nur Sultan earlier this month, the problem persisted. Tomar said:

He always insisted on staying alone during tournaments while others shared rooms. Even at the World Championship in Nur-Sultan where two persons were to share the room as per the UWW instructions, he stayed alone. It was difficult to accept all his demands.

During training, Karimi would refuse to teach techniques because apparently he had a problem in touching sweat-soaked wrestlers. “During the tournament, he would go onto the mat but refused to wipe the sweat of wrestlers which all the coaches do during the bouts. Even during training at the camp, because of the same reason, he did not teach techniques by example because he had a problem touching sweat-soaked wrestlers. It can’t work in India,” he added.

Reports emerged last month when he was struggling to adjust to the system. He was on vacation after India secured its best-ever performance at the Senior World Championships in Nursultan, where the men’s freestyle wrestlers won four medals and three Olympic quotas.

Hossein Karimi, who as Iran’s national coach, has led his nation to three men’s freestyle medals, including a gold, at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He himself was not happy with the way things work in India. He allegedly wanted to have his own program in place at the national camp in Bahalgarh in Sonepat district but the country’s best wrestlers trained on their own. “They have cancelled my contract. In India, the system is not good. There are a lot of problems,” Karimi told PTI but did not elaborate.

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