Haryana state federation calls for two separate trials for National Championship

Wrestlers in Haryana are in a difficult position with the state federation announcing two separate trials to pick the team for the Senior National Championships.

File photo of wrestling.(File)

The development comes in the wake of the IOA ad-hoc panel announcing the National Championships in Jaipur from Feb 2-5, and the suspended Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) calling the move ‘illegal’ while planning to hold a separate National Championships.

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The tussle for the administrative control of wrestling in the state federations has intensified and the wrestlers are feeling the heat. Harayana Amatuer Wrestling Association (HAWA) president Rohtash Singh has announced state trials from Jan 17-18 in Sonipat, while HAWA general secretary issued a separate circular on Wednesday calling the state trials to be conducted in Hisar on January 13 and 14.

Rohtash, who earlier backed the former WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh’s faction, changed sides before the WFI election in support of the group backed by the protesting wrestlers and contested for the post of joint secretary and lost. Rakesh Singh, on the other hand, has the backing of the newly-elected WFI.

“We cannot attend two state trials because they are close to each other and we are also worried about our future. We don’t know who will send entries, what will happen in the next few months and who will be governing the federation?” said a Commonwealth Games medallist wrestler, who wished not to be named.

“It is a very bad situation for the wrestlers,” said coach Rajesh Saroha from Sonipat. “You don’t want any wrestler to miss the National Championships because of not participating in any of these trials. The wrestlers should not suffer, they have suffered last year because of all such mess around the sport. There should be clarity from the sports ministry,” said Saroha, whose five trainees are preparing for the National Championships.

While Rohtash mentions in the notice that the state trials will be held to pick the team for the Sr National Championships in Jaipur, the other circular calls it Haryana Senior State Wrestling Championships.

The WFI had earlier announced that it will hold the Sr Nationals in Maharashtra in the last week of January. A decision is expected to be taken at the WFI executive committee meeting in Delhi on Jan 16.

The Senior Nationals, age-group nationals and other domestic competitions were not held last year because of the turmoil the sport was going through. After the sports ministry suspended the newly-elected WFI over violation of sports code and WFI constitution, the three-member ad-hoc panel was given the reins to look after governance and also send teams for international competitions.

“The ad-hoc panel has no authority to hold the national championships when there is an elected body in place. No state unit will field its team. WFI will conduct the National Championships,” said a senior WFI official.

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