WFI likely to hold meeting on Tuesday to break deadlock
“A meeting is likely to be held on Tuesday when a final decision on whether the trials will be conducted would be taken in all probability,” a source in WFI told a news agency.
With Sushil having written letters to both the Sports Ministry as well as the WFI, his case is likely to be referred to the selection committee, which in turn will decide whether to hold the trials.
The 32-year-old is contemplating approaching Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal if his demand for a trial is not accepted by WFI. “On Tuesday, the selection committee would be asked to consider the request of Sushil, who has written a letter, asking for a trial. Then it would be up to the selection committee to decide whether to hold the trials and whatever it decides, the Federation would be okay with it,” informed the official.
Narsingh had secured the Olympic quota place for India last year at the World Championship in Las Vegas after winning a bronze in 74kg category.
Since then the Maharashtra grappler has been staking his claim for the berth, while double Olympic-medallist Sushil, who missed the event owing to a shoulder injury, has asked for a trial to determine who ultimately represents India at the Rio Games. There is speculation that the Federation is not too keen on holding the trial in men’s 74kg freestyle category as it might prompt a few other wrestlers to demand trials in other weight divisions as well.
Keen to avoid any trouble, WFI had asked the Sports Ministry to take the decision. However, the Ministry has put the ball back into the Federation’s court.
“While WFI asked the Sports Ministry to take a final decision, the Ministry in turn has refused to interfere in the Federation’s affairs and asked it to take a call,” the source said.
Meanwhile, former chief coach Vinod Kumar, who has been training Sushil at Sonepat’s SAI centre, said the former world champion had been told by WFI itself to keep himself prepared for the trials.
“In the last one year, Sushil’s sole focus is on preparing for Rio. The Government has spent a lot of money on him and even WFI always encouraged him to keep practising. Had WFI told Sushil earlier that Narsingh would be going to Rio, he would not have made so many sacrifices and worked so hard,” said Vinod Kumar.