WFI allows JSW to sign Indian wrestlers

Private sports NGO JSW can now enter into contracts with India’s wrestlers but as part of a tripartite arrangement, with the Wrestling Federation of India also a part of it.

FILE PHOTO: Brijbhushan Sharan Singh (right), president of the Wrestling Federation of India.   -  SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has reached an amicable agreement with private sports NGO JSW, which can now enter into contracts with the wrestlers but as part of a tripartite arrangement, with the WFI also a part of it.

The WFI had expressed reservations about NGOs like JSW and Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) offering contracts to wrestlers without involving it. It had also alleged that there was no transparency in the process as these organisations kept the WFI in the dark regarding the support being offered to the wrestlers.

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When WFI made it clear that it will not allow any “backdoor” entry of any NGO into Indian wrestling, the officials from both JSW and OGQ reached out to the national body. It has been learnt that Director of JSW Sports Parth Jindal had three meetings with WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the OGQ also presented a proposal for its support.

As per the arrangement, JSW would first seek consent from the WFI if it wants to pick any wrestler for support. If WFI allows it, JSW can prepare a draft agreement and send it for perusal to the WFI. If the agreement is cleared, it will be a tripartite contract among the picked wrestler, JSW and the WFI. “Yes we have reached an agreement with the JSW. They are now with us. Parth Jindal came across as a through gentleman, who is passionate supporter of wrestling,” WFI president Brij Bhushan told PTI.

WFI sponsorship

JSW has also become one of WFI’s sponsors. The JSW logo will be put on jerseys of the wrestlers and coaches from now onwards along with main national sponsor Tata Motors.

JSW got prominent space at the ongoing National Championship in Gonda where many hoardings and posters related to the marquee domestic event had the name of the company, which has committed ₹3 crore financial support per year as per the deal. It has been learnt that WFI did not find OGQ’s proposal, which committed ₹1 crore per year, good enough.

“WFI does not need OGQ,” said a WFI official.

Star wrestlers like Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat have got consistent support from JSW and OGQ in the form of dedicated personal support staff such as coach and physios. The support of Sports NGOs has been key in India’s prominent wrestlers’ continuous good show.

They attached coaches like Shako Bentinidis and Woller Akos with Bajrang and Vinesh. WFI did not like the fact these coaches were on the payroll of the NGOs and had brought Shako under their wings.

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