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Posted at: Jul 11, 2018, 2:26 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2018, 2:26 AM (IST)ASIAN JUNIOR WRESTLING

Pak wrestlers not cleared by MHA, WFI fears trouble

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 10

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not yet given a security clearance to the Pakistani contingent for the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships, and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials fear they could be penalised by wrestling's world governing body.

Till Tuesday afternoon, WFI was awaiting the security clearance for all the teams that have entered to participate in the July 17-23 tournament, to be held in New Delhi. By the evening, all teams except Pakistan were issued clearances by MHA, after several reminders from WFI. Pakistan had sent entries only for the junior men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.

The continued snub to Pakistan by the Indian government has WFI officials worried. They retain the hope that the matter will be resolved, but worry that if Pakistan’s wrestlers are unable to participate in the tournament, it may spell trouble for WFI.

“They have already lodged a complaint against us with United World Wrestling (UWW),” WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said. “This will be second such complaint. UWW may take a grim view of this as it is Pakistan’s right to compete at the Championships. This is not a bilateral event. As hosts, it is our responsibility to provide them all the relevant documents to travel to India. UWW can ban us, ban our team from participating at the Olympics. They may even stop allocating us big tournaments in the future if this continues.”

Singh is scheduled to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to get the required clearance for the Pakistan team.

This is the second time that MHA has not given a clearance to a Pakistan team for a wrestling meet. In 2015, due to this Pakistan could not participate at the Asian Cadet Wrestling Championships in New Delhi.

‘Ignorant officials’

In a veiled attack on MHA, Singh said a few of its officials don’t understand the importance of issuing a timely clearance. “We had furnished all the related paperwork to the ministries well in time, over two months back,” Singh said. “And maybe the delay happened because the (concerned) official thought the tournament was in July, (so) why give the clearance now, and then forgot. Few officials don’t understand the seriousness of the matter. UWW can take strict action against us.”

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