The administrative wrangling in the suspended Indian Boxing Federation could end up costing the country’s boxers a chance to compete in this year’s World Championships.
The national trials for the event were scheduled to be held on August 16 and 17 in Patiala, but were postponed till the end of this month with neither the boxers nor the coaches having any clue about the reasons.
“We have just been told that the trials would now be held at the end of this month and nothing more. We have not been given any reason as to why the trials have been delayed,” a boxer told PTI.
It is learnt that the IBF plans to hold the trials after the much-anticipated August 25 meeting between the International Olympic Committee and the Indian Olympic Association to discuss the country’s suspension.
But that would leave very little time for the team to be finalised as the last date for submission of entries for the October 11 to 27 Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan is September 1.
The IOA-IOC meeting would be watched with bated breath by the IBF as the International Boxing Association (AIBA) had cited India’s Olympic suspension as the primary reason for provisionally barring IBF.
Even though putting together a team after the IOA-IOC meeting — if at all it brings some good news for IBF— would not be much of a hassle, the apprehension is that AIBA could altogether shunt India out of the World Championships due to the IBF’s failure to conduct a re-election.
AIBA had given “possible manipulation” in elections as the second reason for suspending the IBF.
“A lot hinges on this IOC-IOA meeting. India’s World Championships participation is dicey if all doesn’t go well,” a source said.
It has been close to a year since the provisional suspension was handed out by the AIBA but the IBF has still not conducted the re-election which the international body had asked for.
“There has been no headway on the election front and now this delay in trials. Hopefully, the boxers don’t have to suffer because of all this. Not going to the World Championships would be a massive loss,” an official said.
The AIBA has time and again made its position clear on the matter on several occasions, even threatening to bar Indian boxers from international events earlier this year, but the IBF’s attitude towards the problem can at best be described as lackadaisical.
The re-election aside, IBF was asked to amend its constitution and make it compliant with the AIBA Statute but the progress on that is not yet known.
In fact, the IBF ended up infuriating AIBA a few months back by giving out details of India’s international schedule without a formal sanction from the world body.
The result was the cancellation of a crucial training-cum-competition tour of Cuba in May-June where 20 boxers were scheduled to go.