New Delhi, Aug 24: The United World Wrestling (UWW), the organization that oversees wrestling worldwide, has suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for failing to hold its elections on time.
Thus, Indian wrestlers won’t be able to represent their country at the 2023 World Championships. They will need to compete as neutral athletes instead.
This suspension resulted from the WFI’s ad-hoc commission, chaired by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, failing to hold the elections within the allotted 45 days.
In April, UWW had also issued a caution about probable suspension in the event that the deadline was missed. The suspension was declared one day before the Patiala trials for the World Championships.
Indian wrestlers can still compete for their country at the Asian Games beginning on September 23, despite the WFI’s suspension, as entries are sent by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and not the WFI.
Internal conflicts within the ad hoc panel have been made more apparent by the suspension, with panelist Gian Singh accusing Bajwa of lacking transparency. The WFI’s failure to hold elections on schedule was the result of this poor administration.
The WFI initially planned for its elections to take place on May 7. The elections have, however, been continuously postponed because of a number of legal complaints and court stays from numerous angry state bodies.