World wrestling body's diktat on WFI is not exceptional, says Lalovic

World Wrestling body UWW has said it did not do anything “exceptional” by stopping national federations from dealing with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic said there is a standard protocol with regards to all its events and demanding visa approvals from India for all nations was part of it.   -  AP

World Wrestling body (UWW) has said it did not do anything “exceptional” by stopping national federations from dealing with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic said there is a standard protocol with regards to all its events and demanding visa approvals from India for all nations was part of it.

Lalovic did not mention Pakistan in his statement but asserted that India will have to assure that all participating nations will be given entry if it has to host junior Asian championship in July.

India had agreed to host re-scheduled junior Championship after original hosts Lebanon withdrew.

In the wake of Pulwama suicide attack, India had not issued visas to three-member shooting contingent from Pakistan, prompting IOC to censure IOA.

It was followed by UWW asking all its affiliated federations to stop dealing with WFI, putting under the cloud, the conduct of junior Asian championship.

“United World Wrestling this week sent a letter to all its National Federations to communicate that following recent world sporting events, the current climate in India is sensitive for hosting competitions,” he said.

“The standard protocol for all UWW events is for host nations and organizing committees to allow willing and eligible nations be able to participate in our events. This has not changed, and the communication is not exceptional,” Lalovic said in a statement.

The UWW President said the communication was not meant to impact any Indian wrestlers seeking to compete at upcoming UWW events “as they are unaffected.”

Interestingly, Lalovic said he reached out to senior UWW referee from India Ashok Kumar while discussing the issue and did not name any WFI official.

“I have reached out to Ashok Kumar of the Wrestling Federation of India, a 1S referee, and ensured him that we look forward to working with India to continue growing wrestling. He was grateful I made direct contact and clarified any miscommunications that may have occurred,” he said.

“India is a nation where wrestling is popular, and we have high hopes for the success of their wrestlers and national federation.”

Following UWW diktat, the WFI approached the Indian government, seeking assurance that wrestlers and officials from all eligible nations will be given visas.

No reply from government

WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told said that they have not received any reply from the government but even if they do not get to host the junior Asian Championship, it’s not a loss for them.

“We just chipped in since UWW Asia requested us to host it. We had not bid for it. We actually wanted the World Championship, which was not given to us. Since UWW Asia President approached us we said yes. So we do not lose anything if UWW does not allow us to host it,” said Tomar.