Government’s Swift Suspension of WFI Draws Mixed Reactions

Athlete Uproar: Wrestling Federation Crisis Sparks Divergent Views Amongst Sporting Icons

Top athletes have expressed mixed sentiments in response to the Sports Ministry’s prompt suspension of the newly-elected Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) management. While welcoming the move, they noted that the intervention might have come too late. And emphasizing the need for earlier action against the WFI for violating sports body rules. The suspension, led by Sanjay Singh, a loyalist of sex-harassment accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, followed a controversial announcement regarding the organization of the Under-15 and Under-20 nationals.

Olympian and wrestler Geeta Phogat expressed hope for justice. She stated that the Sports Ministry’s decision, though delayed, provides a ray of hope for wrestlers. However, Vijender Singh, the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal, criticized the delayed action. And claiming the government should have intervened much earlier.

The suspension came after several reported loyalists of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, including WFI chief Sanjay Singh, were elected to the governing body. The announcement of the Under-15 and Under-20 nationals in Gonda without adequate notice to wrestlers. That violating the WFI’s constitution, triggered the government’s intervention.

The Sports Ministry cited a “heinous disregard” for procedural norms and the constitution in the governing body’s decisions. It pointed out the absence of proper notice, quorum, and Secretary-General involvement in the crucial meeting. The ministry emphasized that the decisions violated both the WFI’s constitution and the National Sports Development Code.

Despite the swift government action, concerns linger among athletes, including Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia. Both had symbolically returned his Padma Shri in protest against Sanjay Singh’s election. Malik raised questions about the choice of venue for the nationals. He emphasizes the need for fair and unbiased decision-making in the wrestling community. The government’s suspension underscores the ongoing challenges within the WFI and the call for transparent and accountable leadership.

The controversy surrounding the WFI persists, with athletes hoping for a resolution that prioritizes the welfare of wrestlers and upholds the integrity of the sport.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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