Ministry asks stakeholders to elect a national boxing body

New Delhi: The government yesterday asked all the stakeholders, including Indian Olympic Association, to work towards forming an elected national federation for boxing in view of the world body AIBA's threat to bar the country's pugilists from taking part in Rio Olympics.

AIBA has said that if a duly elected national body is not in place by the end of this month, Indian boxers will not be allowed to take part in the Rio Games in August.

Sports Secretary Rajeev Yadav, who met with the stakeholders yesterday, said "he has urged all concerned, including the IOA, to come together and pave the way for formation of a duly elected body in the interest of boxing and boxers in India".

"The meeting took place in the backdrop of reports that the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is insisting on formation of a duly elected National Federation for Boxing before 31st March, 2016 and that failure to do so would have an adverse effect on the eligibility of Indian boxers for participation in the Rio Olympic Games," the Ministry said in a release.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Director General of Sports Authority of India, Injeti Srinivas, who is also a member of the AIBA-appointed Ad-hoc Committee for boxing in India.

"Due to factional fights, it has not been possible to put in place an AIBA-recognized National Sports Federation for boxing. As a result, boxing, a sport in which India was making rapid progress, has suffered setbacks. Grassroot development as well as elite sport has suffered," Yadav said.

He said that an elected body needs to be put in place at the earliest in view of the Olympics. He also stated that the government would make all efforts to ensure that preparation of Indian boxers for Rio Olympics goes on unhindered and that they participate in Rio Olympics under the national flag.

Earlier on March 10 also, Srinivas held a meeting with all concerned to devise a road-map for establishment of a duly elected national federation for boxing in India.

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