In a surprising turn of events, Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia were denied entry at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, formerly known as the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, where the Delhi Capitals were playing against the Chennai Super Kings in a highly anticipated IPL match. The wrestlers, who have been actively protesting against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for over a month, were hoping to use the platform to amplify their cause and gain wider support. However, they were met with strong resistance from the Delhi Police.
The wrestlers, adorned in special “I Support Wrestlers” T-shirts, arrived at the stadium with valid IPL match tickets in hand, eagerly anticipating an evening of entertainment and solidarity. As they approached the entrance, they were abruptly stopped by the Delhi Police, who denied them entry without providing a clear explanation.
Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, all respected athletes who have represented India at the highest level, expressed their disappointment and frustration at being prevented from attending the match. Their intention was not only to enjoy the game but also to raise awareness about the issues plaguing Indian wrestling and voice their concerns regarding the functioning of the WFI.
The Wrestling Federation of India has been embroiled in controversy in recent times, with allegations of mismanagement, favoritism, and corruption within the organization. Dissatisfied with the lack of transparency and the negative impact it has had on their sporting careers, the wrestlers have been steadfast in their protest, demanding a comprehensive overhaul of the federation’s policies and practices.
The Delhi Police’s decision to deny the wrestlers entry into the stadium raises questions about the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest. Critics argue that it is unjust to prevent athletes, who have brought immense pride to the nation, from voicing their concerns and utilizing a platform as influential as the IPL to garner support.
In response to the incident, the Wrestling Federation of India released a statement expressing regret for the wrestlers’ denied entry and assuring them that they would investigate the matter thoroughly. The Delhi Police, on the other hand, has yet to provide an official statement explaining the reasons behind their actions.
The incident has sparked a wave of support for the protesting wrestlers on social media, with fans and fellow athletes expressing solidarity and calling for a fair resolution to the ongoing issues within the wrestling fraternity. The denial of entry at the Arun Jaitley Stadium has only intensified the resolve of Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and their supporters to continue their fight for transparency, accountability, and a brighter future for Indian wrestling.
As the situation develops, the wrestling community eagerly awaits a response from the concerned authorities and hopes for a positive outcome that addresses their grievances effectively. The denial of entry at the IPL match has undoubtedly drawn attention to the plight of these wrestlers, amplifying their voices and shedding light on the urgent need for reform within the Wrestling Federation of India.