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No objection to Vinesh taking her personal coach and physio, WFI responds

Vinesh Phogat has to get the accreditation herself since the deadline is already over.

No objection to Vinesh taking her personal coach and physio, WFI responds

Vinesh Phogat in action at the Wrestling Nationals. (Photo Credit: PritishRaj/TheBridge)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 12 April 2024 2:18 PM GMT

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has responded to Vinesh Phogat's accusations against the WFI and its president Sanjay Singh of trying to stop her from participating in the upcoming Asian Olympic Qualifiers by creating logistical hurdles and denying accreditation to her personal coach and physio.

A WFI official, who wishes not to be named told PTI that there is no objection to Phogat taking her personal coach and physio but must get the accreditation from the United World Wrestling (UWW) herself since the deadline is over.

"Her mail was primarily directed to the ad-hoc panel and the TOPS CEO even as the federation was also marked in it. She sent her request on March 18 but the federation had already registered the support staff by then," the official said.

"We did not get any directive from the Ministry or SAI that Phogat's coach has to be added to the list. We could have tried, if we had any such instruction", the official added.

"We are allowed to send three coaches for 10 players. Nine coaches are already in Bishkek for the Asian Championship for 30 wrestlers and the same set of coaches will be there for the Asian Qualifier where we will have only five women wrestlers competing. Are three coaches not enough for five wrestlers? Why send extra coaches? But if Vinesh wants her personal coach in Bishkek, she can try to get it done from UWW. We have no objection to that," the source told PTI.

WFI source added that the men's free style wrestler Deepak Punia, who won a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships had also requested for his personal coach to travel with him. One request for Greco Roman coach Anil Pandit was also received.

"They had also sent similar mails but we did not have any instruction from the government if they need to be accommodated. It's not that Vinesh is being singled out. We have been fair to all," the source concluded.

Phogat was one of the three top wrestlers of the country who led a protracted protest against former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexually harassing women wrestlers.

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