Vinesh Phogat criticizes Brij Bhushan after UWW suspends Wrestling Federation of India

Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medalist wrestler Vinesh Phogat has criticized former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Saran Singh after the United World Wrestling (UWW) provisionally suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for not conducting elections on time.

Vinesh Phogat, a gold medalist in wrestling at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, criticised former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after United World Wrestling (UWW) temporarily suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for failing to hold elections on time.

Elections for the national wrestling regulatory body were scheduled to take place in June. Unfortunately, a number of legal objections raised by various state agencies have caused several delays in these polls.

Then, on August 12, the elections to choose the new administrators were scheduled to take place. However, due to a plea filed by the Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA), the Punjab and Haryana High Court halted the WFI polls pending further decisions.

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“The extent of damage Indian wrestling has suffered because of Brij Bhushan. if it is properly assessed, the true picture will come to light.  The tricolor has been insulted because of this mafia,” Vinesh said in post on X (previously Twitter).

Due to the postponement of the WFI election, the UWW suspended the Indian organisation on Thursday, making it clear that Indian wrestlers will compete in international tournaments under the UWW banner.

Olympic bronze medalist wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik also expressed their displeasure with Brij Bhushan in a series of posts on Thursday, calling the day a “black day for Indian wrestling” following the suspension of the sport’s governing organisation by UWW.

The IOA’s ad hoc committee assumed control of the WFI’s day-to-day operations and election procedures on April 27. Within 45 days, the panel was supposed to hold new elections for the federation.

Notably, the UWW urged the IOA ad hoc committee to adhere to the deadline in June, warning that failure to do so would result in the suspension of the federation.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and numerous wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik, sat in protest at the Janta Mantar in Delhi, alleging Brij Bhushan of sexual harassment of female grapplers and general mismanagement, and demanding that he be removed from his position. As a result, the WFI is currently in limbo.

-IANS

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