IBF faction to hold youth national and women’s inter-zonal meets

Indian boxing is all set to witness a few more surprises in the coming months. After the International Amateur Boxing Federation (AIBA) disaffiliated the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) and recommended the formation of a new National federation earlier this month, a faction of the Indian body has decided to hold two national-level events in May.

The faction, led by current IBF office-bearers and backed by its influential former president Abhay Chautala, has announced it will organise the national youth championship in Hyderabad from May 18 to 23 and the women’s inter-zonal event here from May 8 to 11.

Coaches helpless

“Since no national championship could be held in 2013 due to IBF’s suspension, the Sports Authority of India did not allow inclusion of any new boxer in the camp. The coaches are helpless without any new talent. We are trying to hold some events so that the boxers do not suffer,” said Rakesh Thakran, a prominent member of the faction and secretary of the Haryana Boxing Association.

Reacting to the development, AIBA spokesperson Sebastien Gillot said in an email, “AIBA will not recognise any national competition held in India at present since it does not recognise any governing body for the sport of boxing in the country.”

Asked whether they did not mind inviting AIBA's wrath, Thakran said, “Since we are already disaffiliated, whatever we do now is our internal matter.” The same faction is also planning to hold a “symposium” on March 24 where it may decide the date of elections.

The other faction, led by East Zone Boxing Association president Asit Banerjee, criticised such a move. “This is a joke... such a move will send a message of indiscipline across the country.”

Impossible to bear

On March 3, the AIBA had “provisionally excluded” the Indian federation, which had been suspended since December 6, 2012 due to irregularities in its elections. “It has become impossible for us to bear the pain and suffering the boxers as well as the boxing family in India had to go through under the past and recent leadership, which has also been damaging the image, reputation and interest of the sport in the country,” said the AIBA in a statement.

On reviewing the situation after the International Olympic Committee revoked its suspension on the Indian Olympic Association, the AIBA said it received different claims from various groups of people on the way the sport was managed in India.

While seeking applications from groups of people with “passion and love” for the sport to stake a claim for forming a new Indian federation, the AIBA had clarified that the boxers from the country would be allowed to participate in various international events.

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