Sports Ministry suspends newly-formed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) body led by Sanjay Singh

Sports Ministry suspends newly-formed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) body led by Sanjay Singh

Suspension comes two days after Sanjay Singh appointment as WFI chief.

The Sports Ministry of India has suspended the newly formed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) body led by Sanjay Singh on Sunday, citing “complete disregard to sports code”. The suspension means that no wrestling events will be taking place until further notice.

The action comes just days after Sanjay Singh, a close associate of outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was elected as the new WFI president in a controversial election that was marred by allegations of Nepotism.

Sanjay Singh, who was the UP Wrestling Association Vice President, secured 40 votes as he dominated the polls over his rival Anita Sheoran, who could secure only a mere seven votes. The election was held on Thursday at the WFI headquarters in New Delhi.

However, the election has not been recognized by the Sports Ministry, which has suspended the World Wrestling Body for complete disregard for the Sports code.

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The outcome of the election was a source of major disappointment for many wrestlers, especially the likes of Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik, who had protested against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and his cronies. They had accused him of ruining the sport of wrestling in India and demanded a fair and transparent election.

Another wrestler, Virender Singh Yadav, who had won the Padma Shri award in 202, announced that he would return his award in protest of Sanjay Singh’s appointment as the WFI president. He said, “I am ashamed to be associated with such a federation that does not respect the dignity of women and the spirit of sportsmanship. I cannot accept this injustice and I will return my Padma Shri award to the President of India.”

The suspension of the WFI by the Sports Ministry has put a question mark on the future of wrestling in India, which is one of the most popular and successful sports in the country. India has won six Olympic medals in wrestling, including two silver and four bronze, and has produced many world-class wrestlers over the years.

The suspension also affects the upcoming U-15 and U-20 Nationals, which were scheduled to take place in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, from December 27th to 30th. The event was supposed to be the first national-level competition for young wrestlers after a long gap due to the pandemic.

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