Wrestling body at odds with PWL organisers over non-payment of dues

  • Vinayak Padmadeo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2016 10:06 IST
Satyavart Kadian (right) featured for UP Warriors in the Pro Wrestling League. The team owes him Rs 20 lakh. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has written to the organisers of Pro-Wrestling League (PWL) over the non-payment of dues.

In a letter dated March 29, 2016, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has asked Kartikeya Sharma, CMD of ProSportify, the firm that organised the league in December, to pay the amount due to the federation.

The rights of the league were given to ProSportify for a sum of Rs 1 crore, half of which was to be paid after “90 days of the completion of the league”, but Rs 50 lakh is still awaited by the WFI. The first edition of the league ended with Mumbai Garuda emerging champions on December 27, and the 90-day period got over on March 26.

In the tersely-worded letter, the WFI chief has given ProSportify 10 days to pay the dues, including that of Indian and foreign wrestlers as it “might hurt our ability to pick up top players of the world”.

The WFI has been at odds with ProSportify for its failure of honour commitments, and the federation is unhappy over the delay in payments. Sources said ProSportify had defaulted in the past as well.

Despite several attempts, Vishal Gurnani, ProSportify director, could not be reached for a comment.

Yuri Maier, who was part of the Haryana Hammers team, has approached United World Wrestling to get the matter resolved. Maier, who is from Argentina, was bought by the Haryana franchise for Rs 10 lakh. His dues amount to Rs 6 lakh.

Two UP Warriors team members, Babita Kumari (55kg) and Satyavart Kadian (97kg), have also complained that they haven’t received their remuneration. Babita was bought for Rs 34.1 lakh in the auction, while Satyavart fetched Rs 20 lakh.

“Despite assurances for the past few months, I haven’t received any money. We were to start some repair work in our akhara with that money, now it will have to wait. I hope we get the money soon,” said Satyavart, whose father Satyavan, a former international, runs the family-operated akhara in Rohtak.

The list is growing. Among those awaiting their pay cheques is the company that set up the electronic scoreboards and LED screens across all venues during the league. Varna Display Systems Pvt Ltd has only been paid Rs 6.25 lakh of the Rs 50 lakh for the duration of the event.

“We are in touch with the federation on the issue and hopefully it will be resolved soon,” said the firm’s manager Thomas Kutty Abraham.

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