India are ready to host the Olympic qualifiers if the World Championships do not serve as a qualification event as per the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation, Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh said here Friday.
“We have a lot of experience now of hosting international tournaments. If required we are happy to host any Olympic qualifying event that might be conducted by the AIBA or the IOC,” Singh said on the concluding day of the second India Open boxing tournament here.
The IOC’s Executive Board recommended on Wednesday that AIBA be stripped of its right to organise the event at Tokyo 2020, but said the sport should still feature at the Games.
The recommendation, which followed investigations into alleged serious mismanagement at the crisis-riddled AIBA — is almost certain to be ratified by the full IOC membership at its Congress in Lausanne next month.
The move would mean that the upcoming World Championships in September-October in Russia may not serve as the Olympic qualification event.
“We will then have to talk IOC about the Olympic qualifier. Whatever be the qualifier, we are ready for it. We are ready to host as well.”
Asked whether it is a setback for the sport he said: “All these calls are still to be taken. There are a set of recommendations that has been given. It will be taken up in a general body meeting of the IOC in June. We will see what happens.”
“We will ensure that our boxers get maximum opportunities. Our focus is entirely on the sport, the Olympics and the World Championships.
“In two years, we have improved our ranking a lot. This year our aim is to be in the top 10. Obviously nothing is enough. We will keep trying to be the top-five boxing nations in the world,” he added.
On the status of franchise-based Indian Boxing League, Singh said the event is on and they are working to find a perfect, undisturbed window. “It’s on. We expect this to happen in August and September this year. They are trying to find windows in the TV schedule that does not clash with any other major league,” he said.
“It has to match with our preparation as well. We need to make sure that our players are available when we want them to be. We can’t suddenly make them available in the middle of a World Championship.”
With immense talent pool from the North-East, the BFI chief hoped that there should be at least two teams from the regions. “There’s no question about that (about NE having a team in the upcoming league). In fact, North-East should probably have two teams with so much of talent available, it’s incredible,” he said.