Amid WFI standoff, Croatia series at stake : The Tribune India

Amid WFI standoff, Croatia series at stake

Tourney from February 1, but no visas yet

Amid WFI standoff, Croatia series at stake


Tribune News Service

Vinayak Padmadeo

New Delhi, January 23

The ongoing fight between some prominent wrestlers and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president has all but ended hopes of the country’s participation in the Zagreb Open Ranking Series.

Mary Kom to head probe panel

  • Six-time world champion boxer MC Mary Kom has been made head of the oversight committee that will probe the sexual harassment charge against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
  • Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player Trupti Murgunde, former SAI ED Radhica Sreeman and former TOPS chief Cdr Rajesh Rajagopalan (retd) have been named in the committee

The tournament is scheduled to start on February 1 and the Indian team has not yet been issued visa to travel to Croatia for the tournament.

As per the original plan, the team that included the likes of Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Jitender, Sangeeta Phogat and Vinesh Phogat was supposed to take a flight on January 28.

However, the protest against the alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers and the ensuing shutting down of the WFI secretariat by the Sports Ministry has ended any slim hopes of the squad reaching the venue in time. Sources have confirmed to The Tribune that the WFI’s first request for visa was rejected by the Embassy of Croatia and before they could request for an urgent redress or could get the ministries, including sports and external affairs, to back their travel plans, the secretariat was shut. The team needs to be in Zagreb latest by January 31 for the coaches’ meeting and a day late would mean forfeiture. Even if the government manages to get the travel documents in time, few among the protesting wrestlers — Bajrang, Ravi Kumar, Jitender, Vinesh Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat, Anshu Malik and Sangeeta Mor — will definitely sit out of the tournament as they have not joined the national training camps.

Six-time World Champion boxer and bronze medallist winner at the London Olympics MC Mary Kom on Monday was made the head of the Oversight Committee that will probe the sexual harassment charge against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The committee, which was appointed after a delay of over two days, will also run the day-to-day affairs of the federation. London Olympics bronze medal winner wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player Trupti Murgunde, former SAI ED Radhica Sreeman and former TOPS chief Cdr Rajesh Rajagopalan (retd) have been named in the committee.

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