In what comes as a shocker for the wrestling fraternity in India, top grapplers of the nation are not happy with the way the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is being run. And hence, the top wrestlers of the country including Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat staged a protest against the board at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
These top wrestlers have been joined by world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha and CWG medallist Sumit Malik and a few others. While the wrestlers did not share the exact details of their grievances with WFI, it’s said that they are not happy with the way the board president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is taking decisions.
"Our fight is not against the government or Sports Authority of India (SAI). This is against WFI. We will share details later in the day. 'Yeh ab aar paar ki ladai hai' (It's a fight to the finish)," Bajrang Punia was quoted saying by PTI. “The dictatorship will not be tolerated,” said another wrestler.
"Sportspersons work hard to win medals for the country, but the Federation has done nothing but let us down. Players are being harassed by imposing arbitrary laws," Sakshee Malikkh tweeted.
"The player wants self-respect and prepares for the Olympics and big games with full vigor, but if the federation does not support him, the morale breaks down, but now we will not bow down, we will fight for our rights," Sangeeta Phogat tweeted and Vinesh Phogat tweeted the same.
Anshu Malik, Sangeeta Phogat and other wrestlers also tweeted on the same lines with the hashtag BoycottWFIPresident and tagged PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Notably, Singh has been at the helm since 2011. He was elected as the WFI President for a third consecutive term in February 2019.