Wrestling Federation of India’s latest agreement with the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) for the ZEE Kushti Dangal rights has laid the pitch for a “legal” dangal. The Pro Wrestling League promoters and owners ProSportify have claim the WFI-ZEEL agreement is in breach of their existing agreement with the national governing body for the sport.
ZEEL COO Mukund Caire, however, dismissed the PWL-owners claims as “none of our concern”.
“We have not bought any rights from the WFI. We have an IPL ZEE Kushti Dangal. It is just that we wanted the WFI-sanctioned wrestlers to participate in our competition so we have signed an agreement with the WFI,” Caire told Insidesport.co. “We are not aware of anyone sending notice to someone.
“If a third party sends some notice to the wrestling federation, how can that be our concern. As far as the Zee Kushti Dangal IP is concerned, it’s not new. This is not a new event either.”
ZEEL and the WFI had announced their partnership for the ZEE Kushti Dangal at a Press meet in New Delhi on September 23. Following this, Pro Sportify has sent the legal notice to the wrestling governing body for a “breach of agreement”.
“…The launch of the said Zee Kushti Dangal was held on 23rd September 2019 at New Delhi. What is even more surprising is that the launch event was not only attended by you but you also participated in the press conference with Mr. Mukund Caire, the COO of ZEEL. Furthermore, in the press conference, you made a statement that both Pro Wrestling League and Zee Kushti Dangal can coexist. You also stated that Zee Kushti Dangal and Pro Wrestling League have different formats and scope,” ProSportify has stated in the notice sent to the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The contents of the notice are published by English daily The Tribune.
The notice signed by the ProSportify legal head Dinesh Banth terms the Zee Kushti Dangal as “malicious”.
“We have analyzed the format of Zee Kushti Dangal and compared it to the Pro Wrestling League; there is no difference between the formats of the two tournaments. As such, it appears that being conscious of the fact that its actions clearly tantamount to breach of the agreement, the WFI has attempted to camouflage this blatant breach by changing the nomenclature of the league being launched by ZEEL. That the Zee Kushti Dangal is the same as the Pro Wrestling League is evident from the fact that Mr. Caire of ZEEL referred to Zee Kushti Dangal as the ‘League’ several times during the press conference. This makes it evidently clear that while the proposed tournament is in the league format, it has only been named ‘Dangal’ to circumvent the exclusivity rights retained by Pro Sportify,” the notice added.
Exchange of legal notices is nothing new between the WFI and ProSportify. The governing body in the past had sent a legal notice to the PWL commercial partners for violations like non-payment of rights fee and delay in wrestlers’ and technical staff’s payments.
InsideSport also tried to contact the ProSportify founder Kartikeya Sharma and Banth, but there was no response.
The Zee Kushti Dangal was announced in the Capital late last month in the presence of ace wrestlers Sushil Kumar, Vinesh Phogat and Divya Kakran.