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Bajrang Punia turns down WFI invitation, moves Delhi HC against selection trials

Bajrang moved the Delhi High Court filing a joint petition that sought a stay order on the selection competition for the Asian Wrestling Championships.

Bajrang Punia Commonwealth Games 2022

Bajrang Punia is a Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist. (Photo credit: SAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 Feb 2024 12:56 PM GMT

Rejecting the Wrestling Federation of India’s invitation to compete in the upcoming national trials, ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has moved an urgent joint petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking a stay on the selection competition here on March 10-11.

Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia rejected the Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) invitation to participate in the national selection trials, to be held in Delhi on March 10-11. He instead moved the Delhi High Court filing a joint petition that sought a stay order on the selection competition.

The trials will be organised to select the Indian team for the Asian Wrestling Championships Olympic Qualifier in Kyrgyzstan next month. The players will be selected on the basis of the trials at Delhi’s IG Stadium.

According to PTI, Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and her husband Satywart Kadiyan signed the joint petition and the petition will be heard in the Delhi HC on Friday.

Unhappy with the government's response to the restoration of WFI's status by the United World Wrestling (UWW), Bajrang said, “I would not spend Rs 30 lakh on my training if I were to not compete in the trials, but how the suspended WFI is conducting the trials? I don’t get what the government’s compulsion is (on allowing WFI to conduct trials)?"

“I don’t understand how a sports body suspended by the Indian government issues a circular and announces the trials. Why is the government silent? We will appear in the trials only if the ad-hoc panel or the government conducts it. How can a suspended body announce the trials?” he asked.

Recently, the WFI president Sanjay Singh has appealed to the protesting wrestlers, including retired Sakshi, Vinesh and Bajrang, to participate in the trials.

The troika was the face of the prolonged protest against former president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment charges against women wrestlers.

On February 13, UWW lifted the ban on WFI while the IOA-appointed ad-hoc committee remains in charge of the daily affairs of wrestling in India leading to confusion among wrestlers.

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