Vinesh Phogat wants oversight committee to be disbanded, appeals for new committee to hear wrestlers' views

24 January 2023 07:07 PM
English
  • Vinesh Phogat wants oversight committee to be disbanded, appeals for new committee to hear wrestlers' views

Vinesh Phogat wants the Sports Ministry-appointed oversight committee to be disbanded and a new committee to be formed to hear the views of the wrestlers against the WFI chief.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat expressed her disappointment with the Sports Ministry-appointed oversight committee, urging it to be disbanded.

Phogat appealed for a new committee to be formed to hear and include the views of wrestlers, as the athletes were "not happy" with the oversight committee.

"We want this oversight committee to be disbanded and a new committee to be formed taking our views and choice of ours (members) to be included in the committee. This is a matter of females and is very serious... we hope the ministry will listen to us," Phogat to India Today.

The Sports Ministry appointed an oversight committee on January 23. Indian boxing great M C Mary Kom was named to chair the five-member committee to enquire into the allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The committee was also handed the duty to look into the day-to-day administration of the federation. The oversight committee also includes Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player and Mission Olympic Cell member Trupti Murgunde, ex-TOPS CEO Crd (Retd) Rajesh Rajagopalan and former SAI executive director – teams – Radhica Sreeman.

The Sports Ministry has given four weeks to the committee to complete its enquiry. The decision was taken after wrestlers ended their protest following a second round of talks with the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday.

"With an effort to safeguard the interest of athletes, following complaints by wrestlers of sexual harassment by the President, other officials and coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India, and to promote good governance in WFI following allegations of financial mismanagement and arbitrariness by athletes, the Ministry of Sports has formed an Oversight Committee to enquire into the allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and/intimidation, financial irregularities and administrative lapses, levelled by prominent sportspersons," a SAI statement read.

"The Oversight Committee will also undertake the day-to-day administration of WFI, during the course of the enquiry. The oversight committee will complete the enquiry within 4 weeks.

"Further, the Ministry has instructed the executive committee of WFI to abstain from managing the day-to-day activities of the federation, with immediate effect, until further communication," the statement added.


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