India stripped of hosting rights for Junior Asian C’ships

The tourney has been moved to Thailand.

Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary, WFI: "We will certainly encounter problems when we would want to host major tournaments next year."   -  Shanker Chakravarty

The United World Wrestling (UWW) has taken away the hosting rights from India for the junior Asian Championship.

It is the first sporting event to be taken away from India after the denial of visas to Pakistan’s shooters last month for the ISSF World Cup prompted the International Olympic Committee to censure the Indian Olympic Association.

The UWW had asked all its affiliated federations to suspend all communication with the Wrestling Federation of India.

The WFI fears it may not be able to host events in the future if the issue isn’t resolved. “UWW has told that it has shifted the junior Asian championship from India to Thailand. We had not bid for this event and we chipped in just to oblige UWW-Asia but we will certainly encounter problems when we would want to host major tournaments next year,” Vinod Tomar, the WFI assistant secretary, told PTI.

Elections the priority

“The government will have to do something about it. But it’s highly unlikely that something can be done before the general elections,” Tomar added.

To help retain the hosting rights, the WFI had sought visa guarantees from the Government of India, but before the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports could reply, the event was shifted.

Read | After denying Pakistan shooters visas, India's hosting chances in jeopardy

According to B. B. Sharan Singh, the WFI president and a Member of Parliament, the issue will be discussed only after the general elections. “Everybody is busy with election preparations,” he said.

The UWW has defended its diktat issued to all affiliated federations. Nenad Lalovic, the UWW president, had said there was a standard protocol with regards to all its events, and demanding visa approvals from India for all nations was part of it. India will have to assure that all participating nations will be given entry if it has to host the Asian championship in July, 2019, Lalovic had said.

The fate of the Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan is also unknown. The Indian team has been drawn to play in Pakistan in September, 2019.