No India Wrestlers in Olympics? With delayed elections, WFI on verge of suspension
No India Wrestlers in Olympics 2024? With delayed elections by IOA, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on verge of suspension by UWW amid protest by Wrestlers.
There could very well be no wrestlers representing India at the upcoming international events and at Paris Olympics 2024. India is in danger of being suspended internationally amid the protests from the top wrestlers in the nation against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) head Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has just one week to complete the election process that, according to the Sports Code, may take up to 11 to 16 days, so it is a race against time to prevent that from happening.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) election process has a 45-day timeline imposed by the government for the IOA to finish it. This timeframe began on April 27, the day the ad hoc committee was constituted, and concludes on June 10.
No elections by IOA as Wrestlers Protest continues
The Indian Express has learned that the IOA has not even named a returning officer to oversee the process, which has yet to be formally launched.
“Until the current crisis ends, it will be tough to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. Hence, the IOA hasn’t yet appointed a retired judge or issued a formal notification for the elections,” a source said.
The United World Wrestling (UWW) encouraged the IOA to respect the 45-day deadline for holding the WFI elections, last Tuesday, even as it denounced the way the protesting wrestlers were treated and detained earlier this week.
According to the Sports Code ‘model election guidelines to be followed by all national sports federations,’ the election process is a drawn-out affair that involves several steps. This begins with the establishment of the electoral college, selection of a returning officer, nomination of candidates, review of nominations, withdrawal of candidatures, and ultimately, contesting elections, if necessary.
If all members are chosen without opposition, the complete process can take at least 11 days, or 16 days if there are multiple candidates vying for the same position.