Asian Wrestling Championships moved out of New Delhi after WFI controversy, to be held in Astana


The Asian Wrestling Championships, which was scheduled to be held in New Delhi in March-April, was moved out of the capital city. Kazakhstan’s Astana will hold the continental event, the United World Wrestling said on Thursday.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Feb 23, 2023 23:58 IST

Top Indian wrestlers protested against the WFI in January (PTI Photo)

By India Today Sports Desk: The United World Wrestling (UWW), the governing body of global wresling, confirmed on Thursday that the Asian Championships have been moved out of India due to the controversy surrounding the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). New Delhi was scheduled to host the continental event from March 28 to April 2 but the tournament has now been moved to Astana, Kazakhstan.

Astana will host the competition between April 7 and 15 with the UWW saying that the final dates will be confirmed, sooner than later.

“UWW was forced to change the host of the continental championships due to the recent developments in Indian wrestling and a pending inquiry by the Indian sports ministry against the Wrestling Federation of India,” the UWW said.

Notably, several top Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, protested against the WFI, alleging sexual harassment of female wrestlers from former president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who stepped down from the role. The likes of Vinesh Phogat and other top wrestlers also alleged that the WFI president threatened the wrestlers and also mismanagement by the governing body of the sport in India.

The protest in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar got the attention of the Sports Ministry following which the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur held meetings with the wrestlers.

An oversight committee, headed by legendary boxer Mary Kom, was formed on January 23 and it was directed to inquire the allegations of the wrestlers and submit a report within 4 weeks. A 2-week extension of deadline for the committee was given on Thursday.


Astana hosted the 2019 World Championships with grand success and Kazakhstan was the host of the Asian Championships in 2021 as well. The city of Almaty also hosted the third Ranking Series event last year.

Apart from the senior competition, the U17 and U23 Asian Championships are set to return to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for a second straight year. The tournament will take place from June 10 to 18. The dates of the U15 and U20 Asian Championships have been modified and it will now take place in Amman, Jordan from July 12 to 20.

Published On:

Feb 23, 2023



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