The trials for the World Championship opened with confusion, anguish and hesitancy when WFI President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh announced that only those wrestlers will be allowed to compete who will submit a hard copy of their contracts with private sponsors.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has claimed that sports NGOs like OGQ and JSW are spoiling their athletes and will not allow them to interfere in the affairs of elite wrestlers.
Singh has said if the NGOs want to support the game and the athletes, they are welcome, but "secret contracts" will not be allowed.
WFI says they have enough funds from main sponsors, Tata Motors, to offer better contracts to deserving wrestlers.
"No one will be allowed to compete if they will not submit the details of their contracts with private sponsors," Singh announced to the gathering at the KD Jadhav wrestling stadium at the IG Stadium where trials were held.
It created a bit of chaos as the wresters stopped their warm-up and started discussing what they need to do now.
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Not all wrestlers who had assembled had sponsorships but it did spark anguish among those who have financial backing but did not want to reveal the details. None of them was carrying a hard copy of their contracts. There were discussion in hushed tones and hesitancy.
Soon, it was announced that wrestlers who do not have hard copy of their contracts, can give an undertaking that they will submit it later.
It was mentioned in the undertaking that WFI can take disciplinary action against them if they furnish incorrect details in the declaration or undertaking. "This is dictatorial attitude. It's not done. Is it a crime to get support?," said a wrestler, who obviously did not wish to be named.
However, the wrestlers had no option but to give undertaking. WFI boss, though, said they do not want to create fear among wrestlers or harm their interest.
"We had informed everyone, when trial date was announced that everyone has to provide their private sponsorship details with us, it is not that we asked them this morning," said Singh.
"We just want to see how can we offer them better contracts, so just need to know what they are getting presently."
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