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IOA Sets Up Ad-hoc Committee after WFI Suspension

On account of arbitrary decisions taken by the newly elected officials of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has constituted an ad-hoc committee to oversee the Federation’s operations.

After the Supreme Court lifted the stay on the WFI election, the same was held on December 21, 2023, and Sanjay Kumar Singh was elected as the President of the WFI Executive Committee. Days later, however, the Union Sports Ministry suspended the WFI for violation of the National Sports Development Code and the WFI’s Constitution. The Ministry cited the hasty announcement of U-15 and U-20 national championships, the absence of the Secretary General from the Executive Committee’s meeting and the office being run from the residence of former WFI President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as reasons for taking this decision.

The ad-hoc committee has been set up with immediate effect, by the IOA after receiving a request from the Sports Ministry in this regard. The committee is headed by Bhupinder Singh Bajwa, with MM Somaya and Manjusha Kanwar as members. It has been tasked with overseeing and supervising WFI’s operations including athlete selection, organising sports activities, submitting entries for participation in international events, etc. As per IOA’s office order dated December 27, 2023, the elected officials made arbitrary decisions, in violation of “their own constitutional provisions and against the principles of good governance”. They also overturned the decisions taken by the ad-hoc committee previously appointed by the IOA, without following due process.

Recently, the newly constituted ad-hoc committee announced that the senior national championships will be held from February 2 to 5 in Jaipur, and four days after their conclusion, the national camps will be held in Sonepat and Patiala.