Conspicuous by its absence in the elections to constitute the Boxing Federation of India despite being requested to send an observer, the IOA today said it will consider giving affiliation to the newly-formed body following the “good” conduct of polls.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had been requested to depute an observer by both the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the polls.
However, no IOA representative showed up at the polls yesterday, raising doubts that it might again play hardball, having previously denied recognition to the now-dissolved Boxing India (BI).
“You see the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (which governed the sport till its termination in 2012) is still a member of the IOA. We are being told that state units have submitted affidavits to BFI stating that they have resigned from membership of IABF. We will scrutinise these affidavits and take a call in the next one month or so,” IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta told PTI.
The IABF has been derecognised by both the AIBA as well as the Sports Ministry but it continues to seek a revival through a litigation pending in the Delhi High Court.
Mehta said although the IOA did not have a formal representative at yesterday’s BFI elections in Mumbai but it has got positive feedback about the polls.
“The feedback we have got is that it was a good election and BFI’s affiliation will be taken up by IOA in a month’s time. Let’s see how things move,” he said.
Yesterday, seeking to end four years of administrative turmoil, the BFI was voted to office with businessman Ajay Singh becoming its President following an overwhelming win in the elections declared “free and fair” by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Singh, the Chairman and Managing Director of Spicejet Airlines, got 49 votes against the 15 that his rival Rohit Jainendra Jain of Delhi polled in the election which had observers from AIBA as well as the Sports Ministry to monitor the proceedings.
Maharashtra’s Jay Kowli was elected the Secretary General, garnering 48 votes against the 12 by his nearest rival Lenny D’Gama of Goa. The third candidate in the fray, Haryana’s Rakesh Thakran, fetched only four votes.
Interestingly, Kowli had been voted out of this position only last year by the same state units, which voted overwhelmingly for him today. At that time, he was the Secretary General of Boxing India, which was dissolved following a revolt by the state units.
The administrative mess in Indian boxing dates back to 2012 when the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was terminated for “manipulation in elections”.
The body that took charge after two years of turmoil was Boxing India but could not carry on for even a year and was dissolved in 2015 following a revolt by the state units.
The logjam took a massive toll on the sport and there has been no National Tournaments in the period.