Positive Punch

Published: Dec 08, 2012, 03:21 IST | Ashwin Ferro |

Disappointment over IABF's suspension notwithstanding, Indian boxers hope changes will benefit the sport and its athletes in the longer run

On a day when the government delivered a knock-out blow to the Indian Boxing Federation (IABF) hours after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) provisionally suspended the IABF for possible manipulation of its elections, one would have expected the country’s pugilists to be up in arms and dejected to some extent.

Double Blow: India boxers Akhil Kumar

However, contrary to this, they are positive about the future.

Commonwealth Games (2006) gold medalist and Beijing Olympics quarter-finalist, Akhil Kumar felt the suspension must be taken in a positive way. “While it’s disappointing to learn of the government and AIBA banning the IABF, I believe this issue will only have a positive effect on the sport and athletes. Until now, not many Indians would have known of the intricacies involved in sports other than cricket. Everyone talks cricket, but few talk boxing or athletics or hockey for that matter.

Vijender Singh

Today however, even the man on the street is discussing the IOA suspension, IABF suspension and even other issues facing Indian athletes that have cropped up as a result of these suspensions. I’m sure this will have a positive outcome on the sport and sportspersons in the long run. Indian sport will only be better off from here on,” Akhil told MiD DAY yesterday.

Three days after the International Olympic Committee suspended the IOA due to undue government interference and the AIBA suspension of the IABF for “possible manipulation” in its recent elections, the sports ministry suspended the IABF also citing issues in the elections.
Sports minister Jitendra Singh said that the nomination process of the IABF elections (September 23) was flawed and gave the body 15 days to
hold a re-election or face de-recognition.

Beijing Olympics bronze winner Vijender Singh was also displeased at the happenings, but sounded confident that things would be sorted out soon. “Personally, I had no problem with the IABF’s office bearers. They were very supportive and under their regime Indian boxing has done well too. However, if the government feels there’s something wrong somewhere, they have every right to step in and rectify things. I am confident that they will do so for the better of Indian sport. Our boxers can do without these unnecessary off-the-ring distractions,” Vijender told MiD DAY.

Meanwhile, IABF chairman Abhay Singh Chautala has agreed to adhere to the AIBA’s directive of holding re-elections. “We are ready for a re-election and I am ready to quit the post of chairman. AIBA can send its observer and fix the date too,” Chautala said.

AAI’s VK Malhotra slams Sports Code

Archery Association of India (AAI) president VK Malhotra yesterday slammed the government for de-recognising the body. “We have not violated any rule or law. The decision is illegal. The Sports Code has no legal sanctity. It’s not an Act and nor is it a part of the constitution,” said Malhotra.

Sports minister Jitendra Singh de-recognised AAI claiming that its elections held November 9 were in violation of the Sports Code.

— Agencies

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