India gets a professional wrestling league

IANS

Indian Wrestling League

FILE: Belarus’ Ali Shabanau (blue) fights with India’s Narsingh Pancham Yadav (red) during the men’s free style 74 kg category for bronze during the of the FILA World Wrestling Championships. AFP/Getty Images

New Delhi – The Wrestling Federation of India Tuesday announced the launch of the world’s biggest pro-wrestling league – the Indian Wrestling League (IWL).

The inaugural IWL edition this year will feature six city-based franchises and wrestlers will be vying for $3.5 million in auction and prize money.

The six IWL cities in the inaugural year will be shortlisted out of eight cities in the fray – Delhi, Mohali (Punjab), Hisar (Haryana), Pune or Mumbai (Maharashtra), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Kolkata (West Bengal).

The IWL will be held under the aegis of WFI and as per the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) rules.

The league will feature both men and women wrestlers competing in a team format for the first time in the sport of wrestling.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said Indian wrestling has a great tradition and the wrestlers are today winning medals at the Olympics and World Championships.

“It’s a great sport and has the innate quality to evolve with times. We are extremely pleased to announce the formation of the Indian Wrestling League, which, we hope, will further boost the popularity of the sport in the country and attract support from the corporate and entertainment sector,” he said.

The 2014 IWL will feature six franchises and run for 18 days. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the league will showcase a grand total of 168 bouts.

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Indian wrestlers


Picture 1 of 22

Wrestlers are photographed during a training session at the Mahatma Phule Vyayam Mandir Kushti (traditional Indian wrestling) academy in Mumbai, India on Feb. 13, 2013. Wrestlers around the world on Wednesday vowed to fight to save the ancient sport's Olympic status, after the International Olympic Committee voted to drop it for the 2020 Games. Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

IANS 2014-01-21 20:20:04

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