New Delhi: Caught between the federation and the Sports Ministry`s tug-of-war over procedures, Indian junior wrestlers will miss the Asian Junior Wrestling Championship starting tomorrow in China.
A 35-member contingent, including 24 wrestlers, was scheduled to leave for Hangzhou tonight but the Sports Ministry refused to sanction the trip, saying the Indian Wrestling Federation (IWF) was late in submitting the proposal.
"As a rule, every federation is required to submit the proposal for a foreign tournament minimum three months in advance but in this case the IWF submitted the proposal less than a week ago," a Sports Ministry official told reporters seeking anonymity.
"Sometimes, we even consider such proposal which is submitted to us a month ago but IWF was way too late. In such a scenario, the Ministry did not have enough time to scrutinise all the facts," he said.
"To add to it, the proposal lacked details. There was no information about the tournament and the team. There was no mention about the medal prospect either," the official said.
"We have conveyed the ministry`s decision to the IWF. We are not restricting them to send a team but the ministry has said that it would not fund the trip," the official said.
IWF president G S Mandher conceded the federation was late in submitting the proposal but dismissed the claim that the proposal lacked details.
"I agree that there was some delay in submitting the proposal because of special circumstances but we provided all the information regarding the team and the tournament in the proposal," Mandher said.
"The proposal was delayed no doubt but to expect it to be submitted three months in advance is not acceptable because the junior probables were selected after the Nationals in April," he said.
The IWF chief said that with the Commonwealth Games round the corner, it was a great loss for the young Indian grapplers as the federation was expecting plenty of medals from the June 9 to 15 event.
"From our side, everything was ready, including the visas. The camp for the event was going on for the last one month. The boys camp was held in Pune and girls camp in Patiala. The tournament was part of our calendar," Mandher said.
"I am really very disappointed. I feel sad for the wrestlers because at the end of the day they are the sufferers. I was expecting a very good show in the tournament," he said.