WFI vs. Wrestlers | Former Bajrang Punia coach Shako Bentinidis slams WFI and calls members ‘unprofessional’
Indian wrestlers who protested against WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh received a lot of support not only from fans of the sport but also from outside the country. Shako Bentinidis, the former coach of Bajrang Punia, spoke out in favor of the latter and criticized the WFI chairman.
Shako, who was Bajrang’s coach at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, used social media to express his views. In a strongly worded article, he explained how wrestlers and coaches have been treated by the WFI. The Georgian was unceremoniously fired in November 2021, despite medaling for the country.
He wrote: “I would like to extend my support to all members of the Indian wrestling team and all wrestling fans. All members of the Federation must leave immediately. I have been in the service of this beautiful sport for 35 years, but I have never had contact with such non-professionals. They put me through hell for 4 years. No need to go into all the details here, I’ll just say they were disrespectful to the whole world.
“For four years I was only accredited for the Olympics, and with the help of the Olympic Committee and my athlete, they lied to me every time. Your last name was given and you should have it when you arrive, but you were even on the list (funny).
“I have always tried to carry out my program in such a way that we have results, so that the whole world can see our strength and our unity. They have demotivated me to continue my successful career. I can imagine how many athletes have given up wrestling. Most wrestlers across India are not hungry and all the conditions are in place to help these talented wrestlers.
“I want to say a few words of thanks to the two biggest companies that played the biggest role (not the federation), but these sponsors JSW sport and Olympic Gold Quest. Sporting, if it weren’t for the aforementioned sponsors (JSW -OGQ), the country wouldn’t have so many medals. The federation must be cleared of these illegal people immediately so that a person who loves this sport like his own family comes forward.
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