CHENNAI: Sanction the full list comprising 30 wrestlers or the team will not compete at the U-23 World Championships, that's what the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday.
The existing stalemate could even lead to India's non-participation in the event scheduled in Belgrade, Serbia from November 1 to 7. Earlier, the WFI had organised the U-23 nationals in September and included gold medallists of each weight category in the list for the Worlds.
As many as 10 wrestlers in each style (men's freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling) were named in the list. However, the SAI last week selected seven wrestlers, whose cost will be borne by the government and asked the federation to nominate 17 more to ensure they also get the same benefits leaving out six from the list sent for approval.
Besides, the SAI has also not sanctioned the complete list of support staff including coaches for the event.
"WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh wrote a letter today (Monday) to SAI saying either sanction the complete list or the team will not compete in the tournament," a WFI source told The New Indian Express.
Time seems to be running out for the federation as the first batch of wrestlers are expected to fly out of the country on October 29. "We have also written to the SAI a few days ago expressing inability to strike out names of the six wrestlers as was directed. How can the WFI do that as all who were included in the list are gold medallists from the nationals," added the source.
The WFI has already sent the entry to the organisers and paid the fee as was mandated by the world governing body, United World Wrestling. It has to pay the lodging and boarding expenses of the team and support staff even if Indian wrestlers do not compete in the tournament. "We had already sent the list to the official travel agent along with the travel plan but so far we haven't heard anything from it," the source added.