Wrestling Federation of India AGM scheduled to be held today (January 22) in Ayodhya, has been called off. The meeting was supposed to start at 10 am. The development comes after the federation suspend all ongoing activities with immediate effect, unless the Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day-to-day functioning of WFI, said an order from the Union Sports Ministry on Saturday.
India's top grapplers have leveled allegations of sexual harassment and corruption against the WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. "The Ministry of Sports has communicated to the Wrestling Federation of India on Saturday that in view of the Government's decision to appoint an Oversight Committee to investigate the various allegations raised by athletes against the Federation, WFI will suspend all ongoing activities with immediate effect, unless the Oversight Committee is formally appointed and takes over the day to day functioning of WFI," the ministry said in a statement.
"In view of the direction to suspend all activities immediately, the Sports Ministry has asked WFI to also cancel the ongoing Ranking Tournament in Gonda, UP. The Ministry has directed WFI to return the entry fees charged to participants for the ongoing event," it added. Noted wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and a number of other grapplers on January 18 staged a protest against the Wrestling Federation of the India (WFI). The 28-year-old Phogat alleged that Brij Bhushan Sharan had been harassing female wrestlers.
The protesting wrestlers have also accused the WFI of arbitrariness, mismanagement, misgovernance and bias in selection as harassment of wrestlers by its coaches and president. The aggrieved grapplers called off their protest after a long meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday night and getting assurances from the government that their grievances would be addressed.
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