After more than a year in limbo, the fate of IABF (Indian Amateur Boxing Federation) appeared to have been sealed on Monday. World body AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) which had suspended IABF in December 2012 citing possible manipulation of elections decided to cut its loss and ended its association with the Indian body. AIBA has now invited applications for a new national boxing federation.
India’s wasn’t the only national federation suspended by AIBA — France, England, Korea and South Africa — were similarly sanctioned. But while Korea and South Africa were re inducted into the AIBA fold after fresh elections the failiure of IABF led by president Abhishek Matoria to do so have led to the current situation. Last year, more than 20 state units did not attend a meeting and the above said units have been gathering support even through online forums for the members to join the protest.
The impasse between AIBA and AIBF has negatively impacted Indian boxers. The federation not just failed to conduct an Annual General Meeting in their tenure, they have also failed to hold any national tournaments since the senior women nationals in May last year. While boxers and coaches were permitted to take part in last year’s World Championships in Kazakhstan under the AIBA flag, the boxers had to miss exposure and training competition in Cuba.
While the AIBA has been shifting its focus towards semi-professional style of boxing with its flagship programs World Series of Boxing and AIBA Professional League,Indian boxers failed to feature in WSB and in the draft and the final list for APB, which will begin later this year.
Now the latest AIBA decision brings a further sense of confusion. While AIBA has invited applications for a new national federation, the readmission process will not be completed before the AIBA congress to be held in November, putting a question mark over the camps abroad and the road map for this year’s CWG, Asian games and 2016 Rio Olympics.
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With the AIBA also coming with the new qualification system for Rio Olympics with more than 30 percent qualification through WSB and APB apart from a new qualifying tournament in the form of AOB World Qualifying, the boxers would hope that the new federation is formed as soon as possible.