Pune: The ongoing Pro Wrestling League (PWL) got mired into a tangle when a relative of the Mumbai team owner forced their official PR agency to issue a statement of Mumbai Maharathi’s ‘withdrawal’ from the third edition of the league alleging cheating by the organisers.
Since the ‘statement’ was issued late on Wednesday night, the organisers, ProSportify were caught unawares on Thursday morning and thus began the firefighting operations.
At the end of the day, ProSportify issued an official statement wherein all competing teams including Mumbai Maharathi expressed their support to the league saying that the alleged news of withdrawal was spread with malicious intent and that they were firmly with the “well organised” league.
Apparently, one of the relative of the owners of Mumbai Maharathi got aggrieved after they team lost to Veer Maratha.
There was fire not without any spark though.
During the toss between Mumbai Maharathi and Veer Maratha, Mumbai’s Sakshi Malik, the Rio Olympics bronze medallist, won the toss and she opted to block the wrestler in the men’s 74-kg categogy, but was allegedly prevented to do so by the organisers.
Sakshi then had no option but to block a wrestler in another weight category and the 74 kg category proved vital in the final outcome of the match, with Mumbai Maharathi losing the tie 3-4 to Veer Maratha.
According to the rules, one weight category cannot be blocked for consecutive matches and for a total of two out of the five league matches. Mumbai Maharathi had blocked the 74 kg category in their first encounter and sought to do so in their third encounter, adhering to the rules.
At the end of the firefighting operations, Team Owners of Mumbai Maharathi said they were shocked and distressed learn about report of their withdrawal from the Pro Wrestling League Season 3, currently on in New Delhi.
“We would like to reiterate that we have complete faith in the organisers of the PWL and that they have been conducting this world-class league in a fair and equitable manner. We have been with them right from Day One and would continue to do so,” the statement said.
“Our investigations have revealed that Birbal Sports and Entertainment, whom we had hired to handle our operations for the league, is behind this story. We have terminated all our relationships with them with immediate effect and relieve them of all their duties,” it said.
Mumbai Maharathi would have become the sixth owners to have walked out of the league in 3 years.