India joins world boxing, but still hasn’t separated from IBA

The Uncut

New Delhi. The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Friday severed ties with the suspended International Boxing Association (IBA) and joined World Boxing to deal with the threat to the future of the sport in the Olympics. But BFI president Ajay Singh said that the federation has not disassociated itself from the suspended IBA. The International Olympic Committee had warned months ago that if the national federation remained associated with the International Boxing Association (IBA), the sport could be removed from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Singh said in a release, “It is important for boxing to retain its Olympic status for the sport, so we are happy to be associated with World Boxing.” But Singh, who was appointed IBA vice-president last year, later told reporters in an online conversation that Indian boxers can still continue to participate in IBA tournaments.

Singh said, “Actually the situation is that India has not separated itself from IBA and if we want, we can continue to participate in IBA championships. But it is important to create a world body which is connected to the IOC.” He said, “The most important tournament for us is the Olympics, along with that the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, all of these come under the purview of the IOC.” Citing the recent decision of the Sports Arbitration Court against IBA, Singh admitted that it would be very difficult for it to get recognition from the IOC.

Singh said, “I do not want to deprive my boxers of any world championship. And we have had a clear discussion with the World Boxing that we will also be able to participate in IBA’s championship. ” The Sports Arbitration had rejected IBA’s appeal in which it had decided to withdraw recognition as an International Boxing Federation of the IOC session. But if BFI does not completely end its relationship with IBA, then Indian boxers will not be able to participate in the 2028 Olympics, even if this sport is retained in the program.

The IOC said in a statement on Thursday, “Any boxer whose national federation runs under the IBA will not be able to participate in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.” It said, “The concerned NOC will have to expel such National Boxing Federation from its membership.” Singh said that he would work with the Executive Board of World Boxing for the future development of the sport so that boxers around the world can have a bright future.

World Boxing was formed in April 2023. Its president is former IBA presidential contender Boris van der Vorst.
Van der Vorst said, “India is a very important country for international boxing and we welcome BFI to the world boxing family. This is a very exciting step which will increase our presence in Asia. We will work together with BFI for a common goal.” The International Olympic Committee revoked the recognition of IBA in 2019 over financial, sports integrity and administrative issues. After the Tokyo Olympics, boxing events will also be organized by the IOC in the Paris Olympics. This will be the second consecutive time after the Tokyo Olympics.

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