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IWF: Sports Ministry Suspends Newly Elected Governing Body

The Wrestling Federation of India's freshly elected governing board was suspended by India's sports ministry on Sunday.

India’s sports ministry took a decisive step on Sunday, suspending the newly elected governing body of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). 

The suspension was enforced due to the alleged violation of rules, particularly the abrupt announcement of championships without adherence to proper procedures.

Immediate Halt to WFI Activities:

The ministry’s statement directed WFI to halt all activities until further notice, creating uncertainty about the federation’s status and its suspension by the international governing body, United World Wrestling.

Sanjay Singh, the recently elected president of WFI, replaced Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who faced serious allegations of sexually harassing women wrestlers. 

The election of Sanjay Singh was expected to bring stability, but the government’s intervention has raised doubts about the federation’s future.

Arbitrary Actions by New Leadership:

Post his election, Sanjay Singh announced the organization of national junior wrestling championships by the end of the year. 

The sports ministry criticized this move, labeling it as arbitrary and suggesting that the new board may be under the influence of former officebearers.

Ongoing Legal Battle Against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh:

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the previous president facing sexual harassment charges, continues to deny all accusations, attributing them to a conspiracy to remove him from parliament. The ongoing criminal case against him could lead to a five-year sentence if he is found guilty.

Athlete-Led Protest Against Previous Leadership:

Earlier this year, several top Indian wrestlers spearheaded a protest campaign demanding the removal of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh following the sexual harassment allegations. 

The new president’s victory and subsequent actions have raised concerns among athletes and officials.

Wrestling holds immense popularity, particularly in rural northern India. The sport enjoys strong support from the public, and the recent developments have captured the attention of a nation that takes pride in its wrestling tradition.

Future Uncertainty and Public Reaction:

With the suspension of WFI activities and the legal battle surrounding the former president, the future of Indian wrestling remains uncertain. 

The public, especially in rural areas, has historically been vocal in supporting wrestling and its athletes.

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