WFI vs Wrestlers | In the long battle of justice, the worst might be yet to come

no photo

A lot has already been written and said about the WFI vs Wrestler's case, and as predicted by many, it is going along the expected lines taking forever to come to a just conclusion. Political parties are engaging in a battle of their own, while the wrestlers are left alone to grapple on the streets.

The formation of committees by the sports ministry, and committees to overlook them have only resulted in a stalemate, weakening the trust of the aggrieved in the system, and of an average sports fan in the sports administrators.

It has all started to appear like a gigantic wrestling mat, where, in the red corner are the top Indian wrestlers fighting tooth and nail against the WFI, and Brij Bhushan Singh in the blue corner. The authorities could stand in place of the referee, with us occupying the position of the spectators. Now, it has been three days since Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat, along with other wrestlers, went on a protest at Jantar Mantar once again, but somehow no progress seems to be achieved.

Just 10 days back, both the wrestlers opted out of their training trips in Europe, to once again demand the sacking and arrest of the WFI president. Without getting into who is right, and who is not, all this is resulting in some valuable time being lost in a year, where wrestlers should be focusing on qualifying for Paris 2024. All this could only result in our worst fears getting true -- not winning any medal in wrestling next year. 

Someone noteworthy from the wrestling circles feels it's high time that all this came to an end since it would surely affect the performances of the wrestlers in the future. The source in the know said, that there is no fuel without fire, after all the charges leveled are serious.

"Well, the entire situation has gone out of hand, and now the Supreme Court has intervened too, so I don't know what to comment on that. But clearly, all this is causing great distress and loss to wrestlers, and in the future, their performances will not be up to the mark," the source told SportCafe. "These are all players of high stature and certain medal contenders for the 2024 Olympics. I don't know what the truth is, but why would anyone in their sane mind go on a protest, without any reason? Why would they jeopardise their career? I'm with the wrestlers in this one."

Barring the harassment charges too, there isn't much right going on in the Federation, and the source went on to point out a few of them, which will eventually lead to a decline in performance. The biggest of them all could be the full authority of the Federation, where the players don't enjoy much freedom with respect to the way they want to train.

"I've seen it myself. I think when in full flow, the Federation is a little rigid in how it wants to train the athletes. There isn't much freedom for them to choose their ways, methods, or venue of coaching. This being an Olympic qualifier year, the top ones should be allowed to train the way they want to, overlooked by the WFI. You can't force-feed these top medalists, it is just not the right way. You can't expect medals from players this way.

"There are other problems too, but then we would have to wait for this one to get resolved first. It is difficult to properly function without having someone experienced looking after the day-to-day affairs of wrestling. I can only pray everything comes to an end rather soon."

Since 2008 wrestling has been India's most successful sport fetching a medal at least in all the editions post that. But the way things are right now, it would take a Herculean effort to set the house in order. There is a major trust deficit between the administration and top players in the country, and even if eventually justice is served in this case, it would be difficult to work in tandem with them. Overall, problems seem to be only mounting from here on.

Get updates! Follow us on

Open all