The overage menace has surfaced yet again during the age group national wrestling competition this year. According to Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), as many as 170 wrestlers were found to have allegedly manipulated their date of birth certificates to compete at the U15 national ranking wrestling championships held earlier this month in Patna, Bihar.
“During screening it came to light that large numbers of wrestlers have manipulated their birth certificates to compete in the U15 age group,” Tomar said. “The ineligible wrestlers were debarred from the Patna competition.”
Over 1000 competitors from across India competed in the U15 national ranking wrestling competition. The WFI, Tomar said, has made it mandatory to furnish date of birth certificates for age group competitions to check the menace of overage in wrestling.
The main culprits, said Tomar, were from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
The WFI were surprised to come across birth certificates issued in 2021 and 2022 of the wrestlers who were born in early 2000.
“The U15 player should have got the date of birth certificate issued before going to play school and not in 2021 or 2022,” Tomar explained.
Several wrestlers were also found overage in U17 national competition held earlier this month in Ranchi. Tomar said that parents and coaches have found a gap in the system to get fresh date of birth certificates issued.
Since the majority of the overage wrestlers have received fresh date of birth certificates issued by the Delhi government. In a communication to the Delhi government, the WFI has requested to cross-check the details of the teenagers before issuing fresh birth certificates.
“We have requested the Delhi government to screen the documents before issuing date of birth certificates to teenagers in future,” WFI has said in a communication to the Delhi government.