Which Indian players will get a chance to show their mettle here, it will be known only after the trials going on between 25 to 26 August in Patiala, Punjab. The World Wrestling Championship is also important because the players who win medals here will get a direct entry in the Olympic Games to be held in Paris in 2024.
But in the midst of all this, a news came on August 24 has saddened all Indian players, because now Indian wrestlers will not be able to play under the national flag, nor will the national anthem be played after winning a medal. Forget about direct entry in Paris Olympics.
This is happening because the Wrestling Federation of India could not conduct its elections on time, due to which the World Wrestling Federation has temporarily suspended its membership. But the question is why the Wrestling Federation of India could not conduct the elections on time even after getting the warning? Who are the people responsible for this
First of all, talk about those wrestlers, who are very angry after this decision. Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik termed August 24 as a black day for Indian wrestling after the suspension decision.
He said, The wrestlers of the country will not be able to play with the tricolor because of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and his henchmen. The tricolor is the pride of the country and it is the dream of every player to run in the field with the tricolor after winning. How much damage will this Brijbhushan and his men do to the country. Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt also termed this news as a big blow to the sport of wrestling.
He tweeted, “Our biggest concern is those young players whose future at the state level, national level and all the competitions held in the country hangs in balance. It is the misfortune of the country that today wrestling is being suppressed in any way it wants. In fact, this is the exploitation of the entire wrestling world.
Olympian Bajrang Punia also tweeted that BJP MP and outgoing President of Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was responsible for this and said that this situation has arisen because of him.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat wrote in a tweet, The damage that Indian wrestling has suffered because of Brij Bhushan, if it is properly assessed, its raw sheet will come to the fore. The tricolor has been insulted because of a mafia.
The World Wrestling Federation says that on July 3, a warning was issued to the Wrestling Federation of India to hold elections, yet the elections were not conducted. UWW says that now Indian wrestlers will have to play under its own flag in the World Championships and members of the Wrestling Federation of India will not be able to participate in its events.
Sports journalist Adesh Kumar Gupta says, “It has been a tradition that when a wrestler wins a gold medal, the national flag of his country is hoisted and the national anthem is played. But this time it will not be seen in the World Wrestling Championship.
He says, “Not only this, but Indian wrestlers who win medals will not even be able to get a direct entry in the Paris Olympics, 2024, as this world championship will also be a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics. There is a fixed quota for each country in this, because if the Indian players do not play under the flag of India, then they will not get the benefit. The thing to note here is that the 'quota' is not related to any athlete, rather the national teams earn it.
In January 2023, the country's well-known wrestlers - Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia made several serious allegations against the outgoing president of the Wrestling Federation of India and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
These allegations included lack of basic services, financial irregularities, selection of players and arbitrary attitude. But the most serious allegation against him was sexual exploitation of female wrestlers.
A committee was formed to investigate the allegations, but dissatisfied with the investigation report, the wrestlers once again turned to Delhi and started protesting at Jantar Mantar on 23 April.
Taking cognizance of the protests, four days later, the Sports Ministry stayed the elections to the Wrestling Federation of India and handed over the responsibility of its functioning to the Indian Olympic Association, which constituted a three-member ad-hoc committee for this.
The responsibility of this ad-hoc committee was given to Bhupendra Singh Bajwa, who now had to run the affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India and conduct elections for the 15-member Executive Council in 45 days. Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Mahesh Mittal was appointed as the returning officer for the election.
The Executive Council consists of the President, Principal Secretary, Treasurer, Senior Vice President along with two posts for Joint Secretary, four posts for Vice President and five posts for executive members. Two members of the State and Union Territory units of the Wrestling Federation have the right to vote in the election.
The ad-hoc committee fixed July 11 as the date for the elections, against which the Assam Wrestling Federation approached the Gauhati High Court. The Assam Wrestling Association said that it is also entitled to be a member of the Indian Wrestling Association and its two members should also get the right to vote.
While hearing the petition, the High Court stayed the elections, which was later lifted by the Supreme Court. Later Assam was also included in the elections. At present, a total of 50 members from 25 states and union territories are included in the list of voters.
After settling the Assam dispute, the committee once again fixed August 12 as the date for the elections, but this time two wrestling associations in Haryana clashed with each other and reached the Punjab-Haryana High Court.
The 'Haryana Amateur Wrestling' association said that instead of 'Haryana Wrestling Association', their two members should get the right to vote in the elections. While hearing the matter, the court stayed the elections till August 28.
This time two candidates Anita Sheoran and Sanjay Kumar Singh are going to face each other in the election for the post of President of Wrestling Federation (WFI). BBC spoke to Anita Sheoran, who is coming from Haryana. He expressed his displeasure over not holding the elections on time and suspending the wrestling association.
He said, The World Wrestling Federation has repeatedly warned to hold the elections on time, but the elections could not be held. I am very sad that our players will not be able to play under the Indian tricolor in the World Wrestling Championship this time. This will hurt their morale.
She says, “It is necessary to have a woman in every federation. Considering the way women players have been sexually exploited in the last few years, it is very important to keep women in different positions. I have wrestled for 20 years, due to which I can understand the problems of women very well.
According to the constitution of the Wrestling Federation of India, elections are held once every four years. A person cannot remain president for three terms or for more than 12 years. Due to this rule, BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had to leave the post after being on this post for 12 years. According to the rules, he cannot even contest elections now.
Women wrestlers accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment, protested for a month at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, yet he did not resign from his post. He is currently out on bail in the sexual harassment case.
Adesh Kumar Gupta says, “Women wrestlers accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment. If the government wanted, the Sports Ministry or the Wrestling Federation of India wanted, it could have listened to the players, but due to the evasive attitude, India has been facing difficulties. The Wrestling Federation of India must have felt that they would get some more time, but it did not happen.
This is the first time that the World Wrestling Federation has temporarily suspended the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India, for which many players will have to pay the loss.