Dates revised but IBF President absent at trials

Patiala: His unavailability was cited as the official reason for postponing the boxing trials for the upcoming World Championships but even on revised dates, IBF President Abhishek Matoria has ended up being absent due to his political commitments.

A BJP MLA from Nahor, Rajasthan, Matoria has been kept busy by the state assembly session, making him unavailable for the trials that began here on Tuesday.

"I wanted to come but since the the dates of these trials clash with that of the Rajasthan Assembly session, I would not be able to attend the trials," Matoria said.

The trials were initially scheduled on August 16 and 17 but were postponed with the Federation citing Matoria`s schedule as a primary reason.

The Indian Boxing Federation (IBF), currently under provisional suspension, had stated that since Matoria wanted to attend the trials, the dates were revised to August 27-29 to ensure his presence. But ultimately a revised schedule also could not bring the president here.

However, IBF Secretary Rajesh Bhandari has turned up to have a look at the trial bouts.

The 30-year-old Matoria became one of the youngest administrators in Indian sports when he was elected the IBF President in September last year. But that election ended up creating a furore when the International Boxing Association (AIBA) provisionally suspended the the Indian body for "possible manipulation" in polls.

The IBF has been fighting to get the suspension lifted for close to a year now.