BFI hopes to get Indian boxing back on its feet

Of the 64 votes cast, Ajay Singh won 49 while his closest rival Rohit Jain won 15.

Published: 26th September 2016 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2016 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Rio Olympics Boxing_Mukh (1)

There has been no federation since 2012 when the international boxing association banned India for not conducting elections along their lines. (Photo|AP)

MUMBAI: Indian boxing took its first step towards full reinstatement as it formed an elected body with businessman Ajay Singh as the president. The newly-formed Boxing Federation of India had its election in Mumbai on Sunday and as reported by Express, Ajay Singh won by a comfortable margin.

After the International Boxing Association (amateur, AIBA) suspended the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in 2012 due to misadministration and then the Boxing India last year, Indian boxers have been have been the most affected ones. Sometimes they were allowed to participate under AIBA flag and at times they were ignored for international exposure.

Earlier, attempts of getting back up on its feet were quashed, most recently last year when the Indian Olympic Association refused to accept the Boxing India election and recognise it as India’s national federation. And later BI had a bitter infighting within the body itself.

The four-year chaos seemed to have died down with a heavily officiated election process. Ajay Singh was voted the president and Jay Kowli the secretary-general.

Of the 64 votes cast, Ajay Singh won 49 while his closest rival Rohit Jain won 15.

There was a bullish mood in the room as Kishen Narsi, the head of the ad-hoc committee, handed over the reins. It is unlikely that the newly-set up body will suffer the same fate as last year mainly because the election was held in the presence of a government representative — Sports Authority of India director Sushmita Jyotsi — and the AIBA vice-president Edgar Tanner. The Indian Olympic Association, however, did not send a representative.

“The AIBA had sent two letters to the IOA, urging them to send a representative,” said Narsi, after announcing the new office-bearers. “This was followed up by a letter from the IOC (International Olympic Committee). But despite that the IOA did not send anyone.

“But the fact is that the AIBA has been heavily involved in the process. India is a huge stakeholder for them, we have been consistently in the top-10 countries in boxing (unofficial rankings) and they were eager for India to return to the fold.”

Tanner, who represents the Oceania Zone, said that the development will see India “back, up and running” in international boxing.

“It has been a very well-conducted, very fair election. I think the bad days of Indian boxing are behind us,” the Australian added.

Not having a national federation has meant that the Indian boxers have been largely left on their own, with restricted training and tournament opportunities.

“I think it’s time to put the house in order,” said Ajay Singh, on taking over the chair. “We all realise that we need to put the old methods and bitterness behind us. There is a lot of work to be done, and we need to put our boxers, coaches and facilities back in focus.”

It is expected that India will regain full membership when the AIBA executive congress is held in December this year.

BFI can now send application to IOA

Chennai: According to a top IOA official, they could not have sent an observer as IABF is still the recognised body with them. However, the elected body can now send an application for affiliation which will taken up during the general body meeting. Finally, the executive board and the general assembly have to give their consent. This time chances are bright as the margin victory is huge and with Ajay Singh coming on board there won’t be too many who would oppose it. It has been reported that Ajay Singh was even backed by IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta. “That’s why the process might be easier this time,” said an IOA official. Next on the agenda of the newly-elected body is to distribute portfolios to those senior members who cannot be part of the body because of age and tenure issue. It has been learnt, because of their experience and ability they will be accommodated in some capacity or the other.

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