New Delhi: The United World Wrestling (UWW) has indefinitely suspended the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) due to the federation’s failure to conduct the necessary elections.
The WFI has been embroiled in a series of controversies, causing its elections to be postponed significantly. The federation, which is India’s wrestling governing body, was supposed to hold elections in June 2023. However, the elections have been repeatedly postponed due to a series of protests by Indian wrestlers and legal petitions from various state units.
UWW, the world governing body for wrestling, has suspended the WFI for not conducting its elections on time, a development that will not allow Indian grapplers to compete at the upcoming World Championships under the Indian flag.
The Indian wrestlers will have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships starting September 16 as the ad-hoc panel, led by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, did not honour the 45-day deadline for conducting the elections. The wrestlers, though, can compete under the Indian flag at the Asian Games, starting September 23 in Hangzhou, since it’s the IOA that has sent entries and not the WFI.