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Wrestlers protest: Players' meeting with Sports minister to resume again today as deadlock continues

Wrestlers protest: The meeting is likely to resume today again (January 20) as wrestlers refused to back down from their demand that the government immediately disband the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: January 20, 2023 12:39 IST
Wrestlers protest: Players meeting with Sports minister to
Image Source : ANI Wrestlers protest: Players meeting with Sports minister to resume again today as deadlock continues

Wrestlers protest: The hour-long meeting between wrestlers and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur ended on an undecisive note on Thursday night. According to sources, the meeting would resume today again (January 20) as wrestlers refused to back down from their demand that the government immediately disband the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). 

Amid the ongoing protest, the marathon meeting began around 10 pm on Thursday and continued till 1:45 am, but failed to find any solution. Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Sakshi Malik and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat were part of the meeting. 

According to reports, the meeting was nevertheless fruitful, but several issues remained unresolved. As a result, the meeting will continue this morning at the Sports minister's residence this morning. It has been learnt that the government will also allow chairman Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to present an explanation on the matter. 

WFI president to hold press conference today

Meanwhile, WFI president Singh will hold a press conference at 4 pm today at the Wrestling Training Centre in Nawabganj in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district. Singh said that he will "expose" the "political conspiracy" during the presser. 

ALSO READ:  Wrestlers Protest: Top players ready to lodge FIR against WFI President; PT Usha ensures investigation

Wrestlers accuse WFI chief of sexual abuse

The Indian sporting community has been rattled by an explosive revelation made by star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Wednesday, wherein she accused WFI chief and BJP MP Singh of sexually exploiting women wrestlers for years. However, Singh has outrightly rejected the allegations against him. 

ALSO READ: 'Is this better environment...': Congress lambasts PM Modi after WFI chief accused of sexual harassment

The WFI is yet to respond to the Sports Ministry, which on Wednesday gave the wrestling body 72 hours to respond to allegations of sexual harassment of several woman athletes and intimidation by its president.

Govt wants the wrestlers to end their protest

According to sources, the government wants the wrestlers to end their protest but the athletes are adamant that the WFI should be disbanded first. During the hour-long meeting, the wrestlers were asked to end their protest and assured that their grievances will be addressed.

It should be noted here that 66-year-old Singh was elected unopposed president of the WFI for a third consecutive term in February 2019.

(With inputs from PTI)

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