AIBA Terminates Indian Amateur Boxing Federation’s Membership – by Michael O’Neill
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) today terminated the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation’s (IABF) membership after what it described as ‘an extensive evaluation and assessment of all issues surrounding the sport of boxing in India’.
The IABF had in fact been temporarily suspended since December 2012 albeit boxers had been allowed to compete in major International competitions under the AIBA flag. In addition of course Mery Kom had taken Bronze in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“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”, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said.
“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.
After the suspension since December 6, 2012, AIBA has not recognized any official activities and did not support the officers from this National Federation for almost 16 months. However, AIBA promised itself to review the situation in IABF when the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) gets its suspension lifted by 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 judgments in terms of handling the National Federation’s affairs in India.
“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.”
Boxers and coaches will remain protected and authorized to compete at any competition at all levels under the AIBA flag. 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 organization or person to submit an application and once contacted, full guidelines for the new application process will be given”, the statement concluded.
The AIBA had learnt that the IABF planned to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) March 4th to agree a new constitution and had already made their views known to Indian Sporting Authorities inc the IOA.
“As far as AIBA is concerned the IBF does not have any validly appointed officials. In other words, it is the position of AIBA that the organisation or persons who are attempting to convene the March 4 meeting and AGM have no authority or the right to do so,” AIBA Executive Director Ho Kim had said.
Indian boxers including the great Mery Kom will be anxious to ensure that all outstanding issues – including long term funding – are resolved well before November’s World Championships in Jeju Island, South Korea. Also on the agenda, for the country’s women boxers, this year are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, the Youth Olympics in Nanjing in August, the Asian Games and before that the World Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in April, all of which will require advance planning and funding.
At the time of writing the IABF were unavailable for comment. More news from India here on WBAN.com as we get it.