Sharad Pawar welcomes suspension of WFI, says decision should have been taken earlier

Sports Ministry on Sunday suspended WFI, three days after it elected new office bearers, for not following the provisions of its constitution while taking decisions.

Pune: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday welcomed the suspension of the newly-elected Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), but said the Sports Ministry should have taken the decision earlier.

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The Sports Ministry on Sunday suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), three days after it elected new office bearers, for not following the provisions of its constitution while taking decisions.

The ministry asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to constitute an ad-hoc panel to manage the affairs of the sports body.

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Speaking to reporters here, Pawar said, “The decision (to suspend the WFI) should have been taken earlier. There was a complaint about objectionable conduct towards women wrestlers.”

“A decision should have been taken against such elements long back. Although it is delayed, I welcome the decision,” he said.

In suspending the WFI, the government cited its “hasty announcement” of organising the U-15 and U-20 nationals “without following due procedure and not giving sufficient notice to wrestlers” for preparations.

Hours after getting elected as WFI president on December 21, Sanjay Singh announced that age group national championships will be held from December 28 in Gonda, UP.

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat had accused BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexually exploiting women wrestlers during his tenure as WFI president.

After Brij Bhushan’s loyalist Sanjay Singh was elected as the WFI president, Malik announced her retirement from the sport, while Punia returned his Padma Shri medallion to the government.

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