World C’ships: Post USA & Ireland boycott, IBA ready to support boxers from those two NFs

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The International Boxing Association (IBA), which is currently not recognised by the International Olympic Committee, is under focus right now. Two big stakeholders — USA and Ireland — of the sport have decided to boycott the upcoming men’s and women’s World Championships in India and Uzbekistan, respectively. But IBA remains unfazed and said that they are willing to cover all the necessary expenses for the events for boxers from those two nations.

“While IBA has been making great strides in implementing reforms and cultivating a new culture within the sport. This attack on IBA, cannot be seen as anything other than a clear act to damage IBA’s reputation and breach the values IBA professes while failing to acknowledge the tremendous work done by IBA and supporting the governing body in its efforts and best intentions,” the world body said in a release on Friday.

“IBA invites USA and Irish teams to come to the World Championships and participate under their flags and anthems. IBA will cover all necessary expenses from the funds of the FSP Program. IBA will strongly react on further similar conduct in breach of the IBA Disciplinary and Ethics Code, and will pursue strong sanctions against those who initiate and join the participation boycott.””IBA will support any athlete that wants to participate in the World Championships, to allow them to fulfil their dream of becoming a world champion. We will protect our athletes, coaches, and the IBA Constitution.”

On February 8, USA Boxing, in a statement, had said they made the decision to boycott the championships “based on International Boxing Association’s (IBA) failure to meet the requirements of the third-party oversight, false and exaggerated statements from IBA leadership, opaque financial management and dependence on sanctioned companies, and allowing participation of athletes under sanctioned flags, anthems and colours”.

That was a big blow for IBA and the sport in general. Just two days later, Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) also followed a similar path expressing the same concerns. “The IABA urges the IBA to engage in governance reform and implement the recommendations of its own experts on fiscal responsibility, fair play, and inclusion. IBA practices and activities are not of the standard required to secure our sport’s future,” the IABA said in its statement on Friday.The IBA Women’s World Championships is scheduled to be held in New Delhi from March 15-31 while the men’s equivalent is due to be held in Tashkent from May 1-14.

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