KOCHI: In yet another fall out of a dismal showing at the Olympics, Wrestling Federation of India has implemented a rule that bars wrestlers from powerhouses (Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh) from representing other states. Under the new rule, Tripura is likely to be the first state to be banned for flouting it.
It has been learnt, Tripura fielded grapplers from these states at the national championships that started in Gonda on Sunday. The decision was taken to avoid over-representation from wrestling hot spots that was said to be a reason behind the drop in standard in other states where the game has a marginal presence.
Not just that, the WFI apparently has learnt there have been occasions when players offer money to different association/officials to allow them to represent their states. As soon as they participate or if they go on to win they will be eligible for jobs and promotions.
WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh had sent circulars to affiliated state units in this regard and all states except Tripura complied. Tripura had sent a list of eight wrestlers for registration and on cross checking it was found that all were from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. As a result, the applications were rejected. Since the WFI Executive Council and General Body Meeting will be held at Nandini Nagar, Gonda, where the nationals are underway, it’s learnt that the erratic state unit might face further disciplinary action.
“There are chances that they will be suspended for a certain period. If all other states and department teams like Services and Railways can comply, why can’t Tripura,” commented a senior WFI official.
The office-bearers of the national body also hinted that there are chances that Tripura had taken cash from the outstation wrestlers to allow them to represent the state. “There were reports earlier that some state officials had taken money to allow the outstation players. A decision will be taken at the Executive and General Body Meeting on Monday,” said sources.
When contacted, WFI secretary general VN Prasood acknowledged that Tripura has been barred from the nationals but was non-committal on whether the state unit might be suspended. “I can’t comment on that since it’s the prerogative of the executive committee members to decide,” he told Express.
(Source: New Indian Express)
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