The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has challenged the NSF status granted to the Indian Style Wrestling Association of India (ISWAI) and has written to the sports ministry stating that the step was in violation of the Sports Code. The Sports Ministry last month recognised ISWAI as a national federation for running the affairs of mud wrestling, the traditional style of the sport (Dangal).
The WFI argued that ISWAI does not fulfil the criteria laid out in the Sports Code 2011 and there can't be two federations to manage one sport in the country. "We don't understand on what basis the ministry has recognised this association. We wrote to the ministry on March 23 regarding this. There can't be two federations for one sport, it's written in the sports code," a WFI source privy to the matter told PTI.
In its letter WFI has asked why its opinion was not sought like in the case of an association meant for deaf and dumb wrestlers. "The ministry recently asked for our comment when an association sought recognition for managing the sport for deaf and dumb wrestlers. We had objected to that since we are sole body managing it. Why the ministry did not consult us this time," the source asked.
The WFI in its letter has said that the Sports Code clearly stipulates that the association seeking recognition as an NSF should not be embroiled in a legal dispute but a case involving WFI and ISWAI is going on since 2018. "Also, the Code in its clause 3.8 states that hosting National championships is a must to be an NSF and it's we who have hosted mud wrestling nationals in the last two years," the source said.
"Clause 3.15 says that the NSF should have affiliations from world governing body and in this case, the UWW recognises us not them." It has been learnt that WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has already met Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to discuss the matter and has been promised that WFI's concerns will be looked into.