A day after grappler Sakshi Malik announced retirement from wrestling, her mother Sudesh Malik said that she was pained that the women wrestlers’ voice was not heard by the government and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s close aide Sanjay Kumar Singh has been elected as WFI’s new president.

Sakshi and her husband Satyawart Kadian also met former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Hooda in Rohtak earlier in the day.(PTI)

Talking to media persons, Sudesh said that the government had assured to bring transparency in wrestling but the promises remained unfulfilled.

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“The women wrestlers were demanding a woman WFI president but the election was won by Bhushan’s close aide, Sanjay Singh, and now Bhushan will indirectly run the federation. Sakshi’s decision to retire from wrestling reveals the condition of women players in India and how their voice is buried by the government,” she said.

“We can’t expect transparency from the new WFI chief. The girl’s morale has gone down and Sakshi wants to play one more Olympics and bring a medal for the nation,” she added. Sakshi and her husband Satyawart Kadian also met former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender Hooda in Rohtak earlier in the day.

Talking to media in Charkhi Dadri, former Haryana chief minister and leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that Sakshi should introspect her decision of taking retirement. “Elections will come and go but decisions like retiring from the game are taken after a disappointment. We urge her to play and shine for the nation,” Hooda added.

Commenting on Sakshi’s retirement, former Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt said, “An athlete should not quit the game under any condition and retiring is a personal call of the athlete.” Yogeshwar, a London Olympics bronze medallist, said that with the WFI election, the camps and national games will be conducted on time.

“Nearly one year was wasted as no camp was organised for wrestlers and the sport was being affected due to the agitation,” he said. Phogat khap head Balwant Nambardar said that khaps are in solidarity with women wrestlers’ and they will ask Sakshi to continue her game.

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