New Delhi, Dec 7:The government on Friday expressed concern about the future of sportspersons after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspended the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) for “possible manipulation” in its elections.
The IABF amended its constitution ahead of its September election to create the chairman’s post to accommodate Abhay Singh Chautala at the end of his 12-year reign as the federation president.
That paved the way for his unopposed election as president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Dec mber 5, a day after the IOC banned the body for allowing government interference in its poll.
“We have suspended the recognition of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), primarily on the grounds that the electoral roles were flawed, were faulty. And the nomination time given was very less, along with that there were the, after when the nominations did not come in, people were picked up from the floor of the house and were nominated,” said Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.
He also said that the players should not suffer because of their respective federations and the ministry was in touch with the international bodies to maybe establish an ad-hoc committee until the elections are conducted.
“We are primarily concerned about the sportspersons and the sports. So that’s why I told you earlier that we would take every step, we are exploring all possibilities. Sports Authority of India (SAI) could organise training programmes or anything on the outside or also ad-hoc committee’s, some sort of an interim arrangement in conformity with the international association, so it is absolutely our top priority that sportspersons do not suffer,” he said.
The ministry has given 15 days to the IABF to reschedule the elections or its membership would be revoked.
Indian boxer and Olympic bronze medallist, M.C. Mary Kom who won accolades for India in the London Olympics 2012 said the ban is demoralising for the sporting fraternity.
The AIBA ban is a massive blow to Indian boxing, whose fighters were making regular podium finishes in international events.(ANI)