It is well known that the country’s boxers has suffered from lack of national level events due to the AIBA ban as the AIBA-appointed ad-hoc committee has been struggling to find a new entity to run the sport. Given this backdrop, the suspended Boxing India president Meren Paul and his team went ahead and held a championship for women in Bongaigaon, Assam calling it ‘nationals’, which the AIBA-appointed ad-hoc committee has termed it ‘illegal’ and has written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
One is not sure why Boxing India president Meren Paul and his coterie hosted this event when rules clearly state that no championship can be conducted by suspended BI and called ‘nationals’ without the permission of the Sports Ministry. At a time when our boxers are playing in international competitions under the AIBA flag, the latest development could further ruffle the feathers of AIBA.
AIBA has appointed an ad-hoc committee to run the sport and when a provisional suspension is in place, what would the BI body host a meet calling it ‘nationals’. Clearly, the AIBA-appointed ad-hoc committee is livid with the suspended BI president for hosting this championship as the former had twice written to Meren Paul asking him not to host any such event. “There is no way any entity can stage any event and call it ‘nationals’. Even if the AIBA appointed ad-hoc committee want to host a national level, it has to obtain permission of the AIBA and the Sports Ministry. Boxing India is provisionally suspended by AIBA and how can a suspended body hold such a tourney. Indian federation is already provisionally suspended and this incident may make it even more tough to secure AIBA recognition so that boxers can play for the country and not box under the AIBA flag,” said a former Indian boxer.
One remains to be see what kind of action SAI takes against this suspended BI officials and whether AIBA takes cognisance of it and impose more stringent action, something Indian boxing can ill afford.