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IOA-Boxing India tussle to affect National Games, boxers’ future

Now Boxing India might also discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on boxers who take part in the National Games.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Mumbai |
Updated: December 24, 2014 10:41:27 am

The stand-off between Boxing India and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) threatens to jeopardize the participation of pugilists in some major upcoming tournaments, including next month’s National Games. The bitter face-off between the two bodies could also result in Indian boxers being barred from taking part in international competitions.

Not just the boxers, the involvement of technical officials too is in a limbo for the National Games, which will be held after a hiatus of four years in Kerala from January 31 to February 14. Boxing India has got recognition from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) but the IOA rejected the newly-formed body.

Instead, it continues to recognize the now-defunct Indian Amateur Boxing Federation and, for the time being, has handed over the reins of the game to the ad-hoc committee which was put in place after the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) was suspended by AIBA two years back.

Boxing India (BI) has called for its executive committee meeting in Delhi on December 29 to discuss, among other things, the possibility of hosting the senior men’s nationals in Nagpur next month. The national championships were to double up as the National Games qualifiers, with the quarterfinalists assured of berths. The IABF had last conducted the nationals two years back, which leaves the qualifying criteria too in the lurch.

Now Boxing India might also discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on boxers who take part in the National Games, if they are selected by the IOA-appointed ad-hoc body.

“We cannot stop boxers from taking part in the National Games. But if they do, they will not be eligible for international competitions. This isn’t something we have decided officially yet, but it is a strong possibility,” a Boxing India official said.

International exclusion

Even internationally, Indian boxers may not be eligible to participate if the IOA does not adhere to AIBA’s demands. AIBA president CK Wu said the IOA has violated the Olympic Charter by not recognising Boxing India. “The NOC (National Olympic Committee) has nothing to do with the recognition of the National Federation. It is up to the International Federation to recognise the National Federation,” Wu said.

The IOA-appointed Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) too has said it will seek support from federations which are recognised by the IOA, leaving the technical support for the Olympic-style domestic event in disarray. ]

“It is still not clear as to who will provide technical assistance. Boxing India was originally going to assist us with the competition director, referees and judges as it is recognised by AIBA. But after IOA’s stand, the organisers are liaising with it,” an organising committee member said.

Till last week, even the Computerized Scoring Systems were not procured by the organisers and without it, the boxing event won’t be possible. Officials said the organisers do not have enough time to import the equipment, which leaves them with the option of hiring from Boxing India. “But since the organising committee is engaging only with IOA, there is a lot of confusion over these things,” the member added.

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