The diplomatic tension with Pakistan has cost India its first sporting event as the world wrestling body UWW has taken away the junior Asian Championship from the country, days after asking all its affiliated federations to stop dealing with the WFI.
India had agreed to host the re-scheduled junior Championship in July after original hosts Lebanon withdrew.
In the wake of Pulwama terror attack, India had not issued visas to a three-member shooting contingent from Pakistan for the world cup in Delhi, prompting the IOC to censure IOA.
It was followed by UWW asking all its affiliated federations to suspend all communication with WFI.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) fears that it will not be able to host tournaments in future if the issue is not resolved.
“UWW has told that it has shifted the junior Asian championship from India to Thailand. We had not bid for this event and we chipped in just to oblige UWW-Asia but we will certainly encounter problems when we would want to host major tournaments next year,” WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI.
“The government will have to do something about it (the visa issue related to Pakistan athletes). But it’s highly unlikely that something can be done before the general elections,” Tomar added.
The WFI had made an effort to salvage the championship by seeking visa guarantees from the government but before the Sports Ministry could send a reply, UWW decided to shifted the event.
WFI President B B Sharan Singh said the issue will be discussed now only after the general elections.
“Everybody is busy with election preparations,” Singh, Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, said.
Defending the diktat issued to all affiliated federations, United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic had said there is a standard protocol with regards to all its events and demanding visa approvals from India for all nations was part of it.
Lalovic did not mention Pakistan in his statement but asserted that India will have to assure that all participating nations will be given entry if it has to host junior Asian championship in July.
The fate of Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan is also unknown. The Indian team has been draw to play in Pakistan in September and it will depend on the new government if the players will be allowed to travel to Pakistan.