‘I MADE A BLUNDER ’
Babita admits not informing WFI on her injury was wrong judgement
FED up with their regular ‘tantrums’ and ‘indiscipline’, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has dropped all four Phogat sisters from the national camp for the Asian Games. Along with Geeta and Babita, Ritu and Sangeeta were also shown the door after they did not report for the camp in Lucknow. All of them are legendary coach Mahavir Phogat's daughters.
Another big name to have been barred is Satyawart Kadian, husband of Rio Olympics bronze-medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik.
Soon after the news broke, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Babita admitted her ‘mistake’ of not informing the federation about her knee injury. Babita also said she is yet to receive a show-cause notice from the WFI. “I didn’t receive anything from the federation. I haven’t joined the camp yet as I am recovering from injuries to both my knees. I should have informed them. It was my mistake. The federation was right on their part,” she told MAIL TODAY.
The Haryana grappler, however, said that her sisters Ritu and Sangeeta were waiting for their visas to take part in a training camp in Russia and the WFI knew about it. Babita also said that Geeta was in Bengaluru, training at a private facility.
She wasn’t sure why her sister hasn’t joined the camp yet. “Geeta is in Bangalore. I thought she has joined the camp. I am also going to Bangalore for my rehab,” she said. The 28-year-old wrestler hoped the WFI would be lenient enough to let her take part in the Asiad trials.
Earlier on Thursday, WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told MAIL TODAY that federation has already informed all the wrestlers to follow the rules and regulations.
“Indiscipline by any wrestler, no matter who, will not be tolerated. It was conveyed to each one of the grappler that the selected athletes for the national camp are expected to physically report to the camp within three days. If they have any problems or issues they should go there and report it to the coaches and find a solution.”
“But there are players like Geeta, Babita and others (in all 13) who did not do that. This is serious indiscipline on their part and the WFI felt it’s time to pull the plug. So, we have told them to sit at home and enjoy,” he added.
He capped it off by saying, “We have still given them a chance to explain and let’s wait. If they can explain the reasons behind their actions, we will see what can be done. But for now, they are out of the national camp.”
It seems that something is not right with the Phogat sisters. MAIL TODAY had reported on May 15 that the WFI wasn’t happy about Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat training at Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Lucknow without informing them beforehand. She was accompanied by her personal physio, trainer and masseur.
The Asian Games are scheduled to be held in August-September later this year in Indonesia. The men’s and women’s nationals are being simultaneously conducted in Sonepat and Lucknow from May 10 to 25.
Indiscipline by any wrestler, no matter who, will not be tolerated. So, we have told them to sit at home and enjoy. — BRIJ BHUSHAN, WFI PRESIDENT
Babita Kumari (in blue), along with her Phogat sisters - Geeta, Ritu and Sangeeta - were ousted from the ongoing national camp in Lucknow.
Satyawart Kadian was also barred.