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Wrestling Federation India suspended by World Wrestling Body

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The United World Wrestling (UWW) has indefinitely suspended Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) over its failure to conduct elections for the new WFI chief. This comes after Brij Bhushan Singh was accused by female wrestlers of sexually harassing them following which he was removed as President of the wrestling body.

A series of protests by Indian wrestling who were demanding reforms in the WFI.

The failure of conducting elections comes due to a series of protests by Indian wrestlers and legal petitions from various state units. The federation which was originally supposed to keep elections in June 2023 has been embroiled in a series of controversies due to which the elections have been postponed significantly.

These controversies have led to a loss of confidence in the WFI among wrestlers, coaches, and fans. They have also made it difficult for the WFI to hold elections, as there is no consensus on who should be elected to the WFI’s governing body.

Wrestling

The WFI has been unable to hold elections despite repeated attempts. The latest attempt to hold elections was made on August 20, 2023, but the elections were postponed again due to a lack of quorum. The UWW has suspended the WFI because it believes that the WFI is not in control of its affairs. The UWW has also expressed concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the WFI.

The suspension of the WFI is a major setback for Indian wrestling. It is also a major embarrassment for the Indian government. The government needs to take steps to ensure that the WFI is able to hold elections as soon as possible and that the sport of wrestling is able to flourish in India.

The consequence of the WFI being suspended is that Indian wrestlers will not be able to compete in the future world championships under the Indian flag. Instead, they will have to participate as neutral athletes at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships starting September 16 as the ad-hoc panel, led by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, did not honour the 45-day deadline for conducting the elections.

The suspension means that Indian wrestlers will not be able to compete in any UWW-sanctioned events, including the World Championships and the Olympics.The suspension is likely to have a major impact on the development of wrestling in India. It will make it difficult for Indian wrestlers to compete at the highest level and it could discourage young people from taking up the sport.The WFI needs to take steps to address the concerns of the UWW and to hold elections as soon as possible. If the WFI is unable to do so, the suspension could be extended or even made permanent.

The elections for 15 positions on the WFI’s governing body were scheduled to be held on August 12. On Monday, four candidates, including outgoing Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s close aide Sanjay Singh from Uttar Pradesh, filed nominations for the post of president at the Olympic Bhawan in New Delhi. Darshan Lal of the Chandigarh wrestling body was nominated for the position of general secretary, while SP Deswal of Uttarakhand was nominated for treasurer from the Brij Bhushan camp. It is also to be noted that Maharashtra and Tripura will not have any representation in the elections as the returning officer labelled the claims made by both of them as ‘ineligible’.

The WFI was first suspended in January and then in May due to the allegations made by the wrestlers towards the functioning of the body and the then president Brij Bhushan Singh. The WFI is currently under the control of the Indian Olympic Committee which takes care of its day-to-day affairs. It is currently being managed by an ad-hoc committee under the leadership of Bhupender Singh Bhajwa.

Please, also look into it : Shooting, archery, and wrestling excluded from the list of initial games for CWG-2026



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