Bajrang Punia Writes Open Letter to UWW Over Revoking of WFI Suspension

Bajrang Punia writes an open letter to United World Wrestling amid WFI suspension revocation concerns.

2 min read

Olympic medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia wrote an open letter to United World Wrestling (UWW) on Thursday, demanding the world Wrestling body to take action against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

In a letter, Punia wrote that the decision to lift WFI suspension has put the "wrestlers under threat again" by WFI members.

UWW, the global governing body for the sport, had placed the WFI under provisional suspension on August 23 last year after the Indian body failed to hold an election in due course. However, the UWW decided to lift the suspension on Tuesday with immediate effect.

The UWW Bureau met on 9 February to review the suspension among other topics and considering all the elements and information, it decided to lift the suspension under the condition that WFI has to immediately provide UWW with written guarantees that all wrestlers will be considered for participation without any discrimination in all WFI events.

In a letter to UWW, Punia wrote: "This decision has again put Indian wrestlers under threat and harassment by WFI members. This is to bring to your notice that this WFI was suspended by Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS) dated 27 December 2023 due to serious anomalies after a couple of days of taking charge. MYAS also formed an Ad Hoc Committee to overlook and conduct wrestling activities.

"Even after this suspended WFI members took blatant decisions to conduct sporting activities without any recognition from sports ministries under the same leadership. Wrestlers all over India have lost trust and belief in functioning of Wrestling Federation of India. Because of this MYAS took diligent steps and issued a circular dated 7th January 2024.

"Even after this they have publicly issued statements against wrestlers and Ad Hoc Committee. This elected body is still being run by same individual and their allies who serious charges against them and MYAS also took the same in consideration while suspending the body.

"For your reference we have attached the mentioned letters. We wrestlers request you kindly support Indian athletes against unfair practices and harassment through various means. Indian wrestlers are looking up to you for justice and their rights to fair and safe play."

On Wednesday, former wrestler Sakshi Malik accused WFI chief Sanjay Singh that he used underhanded tactics to have the suspension on WFI lifted by UWW.

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