Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) revealed earlier today that he won’t be contesting for the post in the upcoming elections set for May 7. He is currently awaiting a report from Sports Ministry regarding the sexual harassment allegations made against him by the best of wrestlers of the country, including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik.
The WFI announced the schedule for elections at its Emergency General Council and Executive Committee meeting which was chaired by VN Prasood, the Secretary General. After the meeting, Brij Bhushan was quoted as saying by PTI, “We had to schedule elections earlier, but due to the recent controversy, we could not hold the elections earlier, but now we will move forward. I will follow the Sports Code and not contest for president’s post.”
“I have said I will not contest for president’s post, I have not said I will not contest elections,” the WFI chief added. It would mean that Brij Bhushan is looking to be a part of the WFI Executive Committee which includes 5 members at a time.
According to the Sports Code, an office bearer can hold the post of President for a maximum period of twelve years (three terms of four years) with or without break. As Brij Bhushan has already served as WFI President for 12 years including three terms of four years, he is automatically ineligible to apply for the post again.
Furthermore, Brij Bhushan has to serve a 4 year cooling-off period before becoming an office bearer in WFI again. But since he is already 66 years old right now, his cooling-off period will end when he would have attained the age of 70, which is the age limit for all office bearers becoming ineligible as per the rules of the Sports Code.
The WFI President also talked about what had happened after the sexual harassment allegations surfaced against him, “In writing, I was asked to step aside for three weeks, and later it was extended to six weeks, and I did that. I have appeared at IOA and oversight panel hearings. I can work as WFI official now. There is no question of flouting any rule. The findings of the committee are with the government, and I am waiting for that report.”