Indian boxing’s 18-month long international isolation has come to an end. AIBA, on Thursday, extended provisional membership to Boxing India. India’s re-entry will formally be sealed once this decision is ratified at the AIBA Congress in September.
The Indian Boxing Federation, led by Abhishek Matoria, was suspended in March last year. Following this, the world body invited fresh applications from boxing bodies that would fill the void. Boxing India, that has long-time boxing official PKM Murali Raja as its convenor and Asit Bannnerjee as the chairman, promised large-scale reforms and had stated that they had the support of 23 units in the recognition plea to AIBA.
The draft also spoke about plans to have a 19-member selection panel comprising of Arjuna awardees.
In its statement AIBA said: “The International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee (EC) has approved the application of Boxing India as provisional AIBA member for India until ratification by the AIBA Congress, following recommendations by the body’s evaluation committee.” This latest AIBA EC Decision was officially announced by AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu in his letter to the President of the India Olympic Association, Mr Narayan Ramachandran.
In the letter, Ching-Kuo Wu states: “The new vision and the initiatives proposed by this organisation to revive the sport of boxing in the country in a professional and ethical manner have convinced AIBA that there would be no better organization than Boxing India to represent our sport in India.”
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Reacting to the news, Dr CK Jerath, vice chairman of the Boxing India advisory committee, said: “It’s a big boost for all of us and we are excited about the process. We will soon hold elections and as per the vision document, we will work for the conduct of the national championships in India. Apart from this, we will also revive talks with sponsors who have stayed away for the last few months. We have also added Olympic bronze medallists Vijender Singh and Mary Kom on our advisory board and we will seek their ideas too,” he said.
AIBA had suspended the Indian boxing body due to the violation of the world body’s statutes and by-laws. The national body had failed to hold elections for the last two years.
The decision was taken after the recommendations by the Evaluation Committee. AIBA has also stated that Boxing India should submit its plans about holding its general assembly meeting to conduct the elections as soon as possible.