CHENNAI: The lockdown has not only hit wrestlers hard but also the coaches and other support staff. Four coaches have not been paid since April. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said it has requested the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to release the salaries.
American Andrew Cook and Temo Kazarashvili of Georgia train women and Greco-Roman wrestlers, respectively, and are on the SAI payroll. Other than them, three national coaches in each style and 15 in the supporting staff render their services during national camps.
“The national camp was approved till March 31. SAI released salaries for this period. The WFI has requested SAI authorities to release salaries for the lockdown period as the camp had to be extended,” said Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary.
Camps were suspended in mid-March due to the pandemic. The campers and coaches including those from foreign countries headed back home after the announcement. The SAI pays only those coaches who are not employed by the government elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the WFI assistant secretary reiterated that the standard operating procedure (SOP) for wrestling as per instructions of the sports ministry and SAI could only be prepared after the United World Wrestling (UWW) issues guidelines in this regard. A meeting of national federations with the world body was held recently and another might take place at the end of this month.