After a dramatic retirement announcement by Sakshi Malik last week, The Sports Ministry has temporarily suspended the newly elected Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) for not adhering to the governing body’s constitution. The decision came just two days after the conclusion of elections on December 21. Sakshi Malik has welcomed the government’s verdict and reconsidering her retirement plans.
The decision of suspension of WFI came against in the light of an announcement by Sanjay Singh. He earlier told the media that WFI will conduct U-15 and U-20 nationals for Wrestling in Nandini Nagar, Gonda (UP) before the end of this year. This decision was termed as hasty, without giving sufficient notice to wrestlers who are to take part in the said nationals and without following the provisions of the constitution of WFI.
Sakshi Malik has welcomed Government’s decision
The former Olympic Medalist has welcomed the government’s decision. Earlier she announced her retirement after Sanjay Singh, a close aid of Brij Bhushan Singh was elected as the boss of WFI. Malik also said that the Wrestlers protest is not against the government, but against Brij Bhushan Singh, who is now facing some serious allegations of sexual harassment against female wrestlers.
Earlier, Sakshi Malik also expressed her concerns on X(formerly twitter) over junior female wrestlers safety, who will go to Gonda (UP), which happened to be an area of Brij Bhushan Singh. She also questioned “Is there no other place in this country to host nationals other than Nandani Nagar?,” on her X account.
मैंने कुश्ती छोड़ दी है पर कल रात से परेशान हूँ वे जूनियर महिला पहलवान क्या करें जो मुझे फ़ोन करके बता रही हैं कि दीदी इस 28 तारीख़ से जूनियर नेशनल होने हैं और वो नयी कुश्ती फेडरेशन ने नन्दनी नगर गोंडा में करवाने का फ़ैसला लिया है।
गोंडा बृजभूषण का इलाक़ा है। अब आप सोचिए कि…
— Sakshee Malikkh (@SakshiMalik) December 23, 2023
Anurag Thakur wants Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik to coach
Anurag Thakur, while speaking at SAI center, called the past champions to come forward and coach the upcoming generation. Without involving himself in the WFI controversy, he indirectly referred Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik to help the athletes to make a mark in international competitions.
Thakur also highlighted the recent success for India at Asian games, where India managed to breach the 100 medal mark. He went say ”We have won several major events. We had won the first Thomas Cup last year and we also saw a lot of success in hockey, athletics and other events. Now, the champions should ensure that they pass the knowledge and experience to the upcoming athletes so that we can better this effort in future.”
Athletes showering support for Sakshi Malik
Though Government suspended WFI, the wrestlers are still fighting against the likes Brij Bhushan Singh. Earlier Bajrang Punia went to meet Prime Minister to return his Padma Shri as a sign of protest. Now Vinesh Phogat and Virender Singh, India’s former para wrestler has decided to give up on their honours.
मैं अपना मेजर ध्यानचंद खेल रत्न और अर्जुन अवार्ड वापस कर रही हूँ।
इस हालत में पहुँचाने के लिए ताकतवर का बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद 🙏 pic.twitter.com/KlhJzDPu9D
— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) December 26, 2023
Vinesh Phogot decided to return her Major Dhyanchand and Arjuna Award, while Virender Singh said that he will only wear his Padma Shri on his chest when the country’s women wrestlers gets respect.
मैं भारत सरकार के फ़ैसलें का सम्मान करता हूँ लेकिन पद्म श्री सीने पर तभीं लगाऊँगा, जब तक हमारे देश की गौरव बहन @SakshiMalik ओर देश की महिला कुश्ती पहलवानो को पूरा सम्मान नहीं मिलेगा…
— Virender Singh (@GoongaPahalwan) December 24, 2023
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