Ad-hoc Panel directs State Units to submit entries for age-group Nationals
Wrestling ad-hoc committee directs state units to submit entries for upcoming age-group nationals in Gwalior or face short-listing of competitors.
The wrestling ad-hoc committee has issued a directive to all state associations, urging them to send entries for the Under-20 and Under-15 National Championships scheduled to be held in Gwalior later this month. In the event of non-compliance, a three-member panel will be tasked with short-listing competitors from the states that fail to submit their entries.
Scheduled to take place from February 11 to February 17, the age-group nationals have gained significant attention amidst recent developments within the wrestling fraternity. Reports indicate that the Indian Olympic Association-appointed committee encountered challenges with 2-3 state units regarding the submission of entries for the Senior Nationals, which were held by the caretaker body in Jaipur from February 2 to February 5.
The suspension of the newly-elected Wrestling Federation of India, led by Sanjay Singh, by the sports ministry for alleged violations of its constitution, has further heightened the importance of these national championships. Consequently, the ad-hoc body has been entrusted with the responsibility of organizing all national-level wrestling competitions.
Parallel to the Senior Nationals conducted by the suspended WFI in Pune from January 29 to January 31, the ministry deemed the event as "unsanctioned" and warned of legal repercussions against Sanjay Singh. To ensure the legitimacy of the upcoming tournaments, the ad-hoc committee emphasized that their championships are the only sanctioned events, allowing medal winners to avail themselves of government benefits.
According to a statement issued by the ad-hoc panel, if entries are not received from specific State Wrestling Associations within the stipulated timeframe, the three-member committee will facilitate the participation of wrestlers from the respective states. The statement further clarifies that participation in championships organized by the ad-hoc committee is essential for athletes to be eligible for government benefits, national camps, and international competitions.
A source within the ad-hoc panel highlighted the necessity of issuing the directive, citing past incidents where entries were not submitted for senior nationals, resulting in interventions by coaches to ensure representation. The source emphasized the importance of avoiding similar scenarios for the upcoming age-group nationals, stressing the need for clarity among competitors regarding which tournaments they should prioritize.
With the wrestling community eagerly anticipating the upcoming age-group nationals, all eyes are now on the state associations to ensure timely submission of entries, thereby upholding the integrity and competitiveness of the sport at the national level.