Global wrestling body, United World Wrestling (UWW) suspended the membership of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) over failure to hold elections.
This means that Indian wrestlers will not compete under the Indian flag at the World Championships in Belgrade.
Indian wrestlers will have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at the Olympic-qualifying world championships, starting September 16.
The UWW decided to suspend the WFI as the Bhupender Singh Bajwa-led ad-hoc panel did not respect the 45-day deadline for holding elections.
The IOA had appointed the ad-hoc panel on April 27 and was to hold elections within 45 days.
On 28 April, the global wrestling body warned the WFI that it could suspend the Indian federation if the deadline for holding elections was not respected.
“The UWW informed the ad-hoc panel on Wednesday night that the WFI has been suspended for not conducting its executive committee elections,” a source in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Why WFI elections were not held?
Originally, the WFI was to hold the elections on 7 May, but the Sports Ministry declared the process invalid after star Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik reiterated their protest against outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Gave.
Then, the IOA appointed an ad-hoc panel to look after the day-to-day affairs of the WFI and conduct elections at the appropriate time.
Despite the efforts of the ad hoc panel, the WFI elections have been delayed several times and several disgruntled and unaffiliated state bodies have gone to court seeking the right to participate in the elections.
first published: 24 August 2023 | 12:26 pm First