Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 23:38 IST

Trouble brews in new WFI; Secretary Lochab accuses President of not following rules

Hardly 24 hours have passed since the formation of the new wrestling federation and trouble has started brewing within the sports body with Secretary General Prem Chand Lochab demanding postponement of the junior Nationals.

WFI Secretary Prem Chand Lochub | Image:PTI
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Hardly 24 hours have passed since the formation of the new wrestling federation and trouble has started brewing within the sports body with Secretary General Prem Chand Lochab demanding postponement of the junior Nationals, saying the President did not follow rules while announcing the dates for the competition.

The new body under President Sanjay Singh had on Friday announced that U15 and U20 nationals will be held from December 28-30 in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.

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The decision was taken by the newly-elected members, hours after their election to various posts.

Former RSPB Secretary Lochab, who won from the rival Anita Sheoran-panel, had not attended the meeting and claimed that all the decisions should come through the WFI secretary general.

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Sanjay Singh maintained that the decision was taken keeping in mind the benefits and interest of junior wrestlers and that he did not flout any rule since the by-laws of the WFI Constitution allow him to take decision and the secretary general is bound to follow.

On Friday Lochab wrote to Sanjay Singh that a few states have objected to rescheduling and relocating age group and junior Nationals.

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Lochab wrote, "In this regard, no regular meeting of the Executive Committee of WFI as per its Constitution has been conducted after the elections for newly elected Executive Council held on 21-12-2023." "In view of the above, it is felt that the grievances of state federations are genuine and may be considered and the U20 and U15 National Wrestling Championships 2023 scheduled at Nandini Nagar, Gonda from December 28-30 may be postponed." A copy of the letter has also been marked to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Lochab also did not like the fact that the announcement of the Nationals was made without consulting him since the WFI Constitution mandates the secretary general to be part of decision making.

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"Decisions with regard to conduct of sports tournaments and all communications pertaining to functions of WFI should be taken in accordance with the Constitution/By-laws of WFI and should be done through Secretary General as mandated in Constitution of WFI," he wrote.

In his defence Sanjay Singh told PTI that they did not want junior wrestlers to lose one year and that's why a quick decision was made in this regard.

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"The decision was not taken to hurt anyone's ego. Our only concern was that junior wrestlers who could not play Nationals in 2023 calender should get the opportunity. A lot of wrestlers have their last year in U15 and U20 age groups and after January 1, 2024 they will lose eligibility to compete in Juniors.

"It is not their fault that Nationals were not held earlier this year. Why should they not be given the chance to compete. What is our personal benefit in this. We are just thinking of wrestlers' interest, nothing else.

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"Also there is no relocation or rescheduling of the junior Nationals. This is a fresh announcement. The ad-hoc panel had never scheduled the junior Nationals and the panel had only announced the senior Nationals and we have already cancelled all the decisions taken by the ad-hoc body." Sanjay Singh also claimed that the secretary general is bound to follow if a decision has been taken by the president.

"The by-laws state that he (secretary general) shall be the executive officer of the federation and shall be responsible for carrying out all decisions of the President, Council, Executive Committee and other Committees and shall see that all the rules of the federation as also of the UWW are fully observed," said the president, explaining the rule.

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The WFI officials also said that most of the state associations are in favour of hosting the junior nationals from December 28-30 and they are receiving the requests in writing to follow the plan.

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 23:38 IST