WFI Withdraws Parallel Selection Trials for Asian Wrestling Championships

WFI Withdraws Parallel Selection Trials for Asian Wrestling Championships

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has withdrawn its notice for selection trials for the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships 2024 and Asian Olympic Games Qualifier Wrestling Tournament, scheduled for March 10-11. This decision came after the Delhi High Court intervened, stating that there cannot be two parallel trials.

The court directed that the trials will proceed as per the WFI Ad Hoc Committee's February 9 circular, which called for wrestlers to participate in the same event on the same dates. All eligible candidates will be allowed to participate.

The court's decision came in response to a plea filed by four wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and her husband Satyawart. The wrestlers challenged WFI's February 26 notice, claiming that the federation had deliberately issued it despite being barred by the Union Sports Ministry from conducting championships.

The plea also stated that the ministry's January 7 notice, which restrained WFI from conducting competitions, was still in operation. The ministry had categorically stated that any championships organized by the former's suspended executive committee would be treated as unsanctioned and unrecognized.

During the hearing, WFI's senior advocate Dayanan Krishnan initially argued that the United World Wrestling (UWW) would not recognize a team not sent by the elected WFI. However, he later withdrew the circular dated February 26, 2024, without prejudice to his rights and contentions.

The court emphasized that there should be no parallel selection trials and that the trials should proceed as per the ad hoc committee's circular. The ad hoc committee is responsible for ensuring that all eligible athletes are permitted to participate.

The wrestlers' plea also sought to declare WFI's December 21, 2023 elections as illegal. However, the court did not address this issue, as the wrestlers had not made the successful candidates as parties.

The Union Sports Ministry suggested that both WFI and the ad hoc committee should put forth dual suggestions regarding the trials. The ministry's primary concern is that medalists should represent India under the national flag.

Tags: #Wrestling, #WFI, #AsianWrestlingChampionships, #OlympicQualifiers, #BajrangPunia

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