boxing india impasse

IOA tells AIBA to not dictate terms

NEW DELHI: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has refused to budge from its tough stand of not recognising Boxing India (BI), even if that means putting the country at risk of another ban from international events by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

Sabi Hussain

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has refused to budge from its tough stand of not recognising Boxing India (BI), even if that means putting the country at risk of another ban from international events by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

The IOA on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on the AIBA for dictating terms in directing the country’s apex sports body to comply with the Olympic Charter and reverse its decision to reject BI’s application for National Federation recognition.

The fresh round of churning resulted after AIBA president CK Wu told a sports website that the IOA is working against the Olympic Charter by refusing affiliation to BI.

“The NOC has nothing to do with the recognition of the National Federation. It is up to the IF (International Federation) to recognise the federation. This is nothing to do with the Government. Nobody can argue against the Olympic Charter because everybody follows that,” Wu said. Wu further stated that IOA’s stand violates Article 29 of the Olympic Charter, which states: “To be recognised by an NOC, a national federation must exercise a specific, real and on-going sports activity, be affiliated to an IF recognised by the IOC and be governed by and comply in all aspects with both the Olympic Charter and the rules of its IF.”

Wu’s comment has infuriated top IOA officials so much so that they have even threatened to call for a fresh election to revive the now-defunct Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF). Interestingly, at its Annual General Meeting in Chennai, the IOA had unanimously agreed to keep on recognising the erstwhile IABF, and had authorised its ad-hoc committee to continue selecting the boxing contingent.

“The AIBA cannot dictate terms to us. The elections to BI were conducted without the IOA and a government observer. Moreover, BI is not registered under the Societies Act. We want the elections to be held under the aegis of IOA with AIBA observers present. The IOA will call for a fresh election to form a legitimate boxing body with the support of the Sports Ministry,” a top IOA functionary told The Tribune.

Indian boxing is already facing a bizarre situation where one body is recognised by the international body, while the other has the backing of the national sports body. 

Does this mean that Indian boxers would again be forced to compete under the AIBA flag if the international body decides to resume its ban?

“The ad-hoc committee will continue to select teams for the international events just like it did during the CWG and the Asian Games. The state boxing federations are also sending their entries for the Kerala National Games through our state Olympic associations,” another IOA official said.

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