HomeNews‘Responsibility of National Federations to Select Teams’: UWW Supports WFI
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‘Responsibility of National Federations to Select Teams’: UWW Supports WFI

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UWW, the global governing body for wrestling, expressed its endorsement of the Indian federation on Friday, asserting that it will only acknowledge entries for international competitions from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). No other entity is authorized to fulfill this role on behalf of the WFI. This stance from UWW follows a Delhi High Court directive issued a day earlier, instructing the IOA-appointed ad-hoc panel to arrange trials for the upcoming Asian Championships and Continental Olympic Qualifiers. In response, the WFI informed the court that it would retract its circular regarding the trials scheduled in Delhi on March 10-11. The court’s decision was prompted by a plea from elite wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik, who argued that the WFI, being under suspension by the Sports Ministry, is not eligible to conduct trials.

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However, President of United World Wrestling (UWW), Nenad Lalovic, communicated to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President, Sanjay Singh, that only entries from the UWW-affiliated WFI would be accepted.

Lalovic in his letter (a copy of which is in possession of PTI) stated that:

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“I would like to remind some principles concerning the registration of athletes and delegations in international competitions.

“From the outset, it is reminded here that, after the lifting of the suspension imposed by the UWW on your federation on February 13, 2024, UWW considers your federation as any other affiliated federation, duly functioning in compliance with the UWW regulations, and subject to all rights and obligations conferred by this status.

“It is the responsibility of the national federations regularly affiliated to UWW to select and announce their teams for the Continental Championships, the World Championships, the Olympic Games Qualifying Tournaments as well as the Ranking Series and other international tournaments on the official calendar.

“The registration can be made only by the UWW affiliated national federations, using the competition administration system (“Athena”) exclusively, in accordance with the rules and deadlines provided by our regulations.

“This is in line with the principles enshrined in our rules and regulations and no other entity may take this role on your behalf.”

This recent development has exacerbated the crisis in Indian wrestling, casting uncertainty over the participation of Indian athletes in the pivotal Asian Olympic Qualifier scheduled to take place in Bishkek from April 19-21. During the period of WFI’s suspension by UWW, Indian wrestlers were permitted to compete under the national flag. The ad-hoc panel has now announced plans to conduct trials on March 10-11 in Sonepat for men and Patiala for women.

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