International Boxing Association terminates India, says office-bearers damaging sport
Lausanne (Switzerland): Furious with the current logjam in the suspended Indian Boxing Federation, the International Boxing Association has terminated the IBF from its fold stating that the current set of office-bearers are "damaging the image, reputation and interest" of the sport.
In a tersely-worded statement, the AIBA said it is not in a position to make a "proper" judgement on how to handle India's case after receiving conflicting communications from various stakeholders. The boxers and coaches will, however, continue to remain unaffected by the development and can participate in international events under the AIBA flag till the time the crisis is unresolved.
"It is with much regret that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee (EC) has decided to end any official relationship with its current suspended member, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) after an extensive evaluation and assessment of all issues surrounding the sport of boxing in India," the world body said in its latest missive.
AIBA President Ching Kuo Wu said the IBF is unlikely to be re-recognised till the time a new set of officials take charge after fresh elections, the screening of candidates for which would be done by the world body. "As AIBA President and on behalf of the entire boxing family, I am expressing my deepest regret and sadness that we had to make this decision," stated Dr Wu.
"AIBA has always regarded India as one of the most important members of its family, but it has become impossible for us to bear the hard feelings, the pain and suffering the boxers as well as the boxing family in India had to go through under the past and recent leadership which has also been damaging the image, reputation and interest of our sport in the country," he added. Sources said the latest AIBA diktat is the result of a letter sent by IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta in which he sought to persuade the body to recognise the present set of IBF office-bearers. The request was not taken kindly by the AIBA, which decided to terminate India.
After provisionally suspending the IBF on December 6, 2012, AIBA has not recognised any official activities and did not support the Indian officials for almost 16 months. However, AIBA promised to review the situation when the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had its suspension lifted by the IOC.
"Nevertheless, before and after the IOA election and lifting of suspension, AIBA received different claims from various groups of people on the way the sport of boxing was managed in India and it has therefore now become totally impossible for AIBA to make proper judgements in terms of handling the National Federation's affairs in India," the AIBA stated.
AIBA said it was looking to get clean officials in the IBF after fresh elections. The IBF was suspended for "possible manipulation" in elections. "It is believed that the only way to get the sport of boxing back on track in India would be for it to be left in the hands of trustful, clean and honest people who love boxing and to give the opportunity to any group of people with passion and love for our sport to submit applications for the establishment of a new National Federation. AIBA will however not tolerate any governmental or sports authority interference in this process," AIBA said.
"Based on the reasons set out above and in accordance with article 18.2 of the AIBA Statutes, the IABF is now provisionally excluded from AIBA Membership as of today. "The AIBA EC will make a final decision and rehabilitate a National Federation for boxing in India as soon as it deems that it has found the right group of people who will support the principles of AIBA in terms of ethics and fairness and who care primarily about the boxers and our beloved sport and not about their personal interests," it added.
The AIBA congress is scheduled to be held from November 8 to 15 in Jeju Islands, South Korea. "AIBA also hopes that the IOA will give its full cooperation until AIBA approves a new National Federation for the sake of the sport of boxing in India.
"AIBA will now wait for requests by any organisation or person to submit an application and once contacted, full guidelines for the new application process will be given," the body stated.