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Wrestling

Sports ministry writes to IOA; new committee to run WFI

The sports ministry earlier today suspended the newly elected body of the WFI, noting that the ‘newly elected body appears to be in complete control of former office bearers’.

Sports ministry writes to IOA; new committee to run WFI
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FILE PHOTO: Sports minister Anurag Thakur at the launching of the Khelo India Para Games mascot Ujjwala. (Special Arrangement)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 24 Dec 2023 1:21 PM GMT

Union sports ministry, on Sunday, requested the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to constitute an ad-hoc committee to manage and control the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) hours after suspending the newly elected executive body of the federation.

The new committee will be formed in 48 hours, reported News18.

According to a PTI report, the ministry has written to the IOA president PT Usha asking her to take care of the WFI matters “as per the defined role of NSFs in the National Sports Development Code of India-2011, including the selection of athletes, making entries for the participation of sportspersons in international events, holding of sporting activities, etc. with immediate effect, until further orders."

“Since Wrestling is an Olympic sport and WFI is an affiliate member of the Indian Olympic Association (IA) and taking note of the compelling current situation arising out of the influence and control of the WFI’s former office bearers, serious concerns have arisen about the governance and integrity of the WFI,” the ministry added in its address.

The sports ministry earlier today suspended the newly elected body of the WFI, noting that the ‘newly elected body appears to be in complete control of former office bearers’.

Sanjay Singh, a loyalist of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former president of WFI, was elected as the new president of the WFI on December 21. Sanjay won the poll 40-7 against Anita Sheoran, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist. She was supported by the wrestlers.

But wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik opposed the results as they alleged that Brij Bhushan would continue to exercise his power in the daily affairs of the federation.

The wrestlers earlier accused Brij Bhushan of sexual harassment and molestation.

Following this development, Brij Bhushan said, "I have nothing to do with the sport now. I have other responsibilities to focus now. I will be away from the politics of this sport.”

It must be noted that the day-to-day affairs of the WFI were being managed by an ad-hoc committee was the ministry declared the previous WFI executive committee null and void due to non-compliance with the National Sports Codes.

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