Thursday, June 18, 2015

Analysis: Does ad-hoc committee means more chaos for Indian boxing?

Indian boxing desperately needs a ‘breather’ from the chaos that just does not seem to die down. A sorry tale of ridicule thanks to politicking and tug-of-war between factions over running the sport, has severely dented boxing in the country. If the recent no confidence motion passed against Boxing President Sandeep Jijodia and stepping down of secretary Jay Kowli were not enough, another ‘crisis’ has erupted in Indian boxing with the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) taking cognizance of the recent happenings in Boxing India – the world body has appointed a five member ad-hoc committee to run the sport in the country, thus belittling Boxing India, which under acting president Meren Paul held its executive council recently.

The recent developments clearly indicate that the current officials of Boxing India hasn’t quite hit the high notes with the AIBA and that is precisely why the world body appointed a five member ad-hock committee with former international referee and the country’s representative in AIBA Kishen Narsi as its chairman. What is interesting is that the five member ad-hock committee also comprises former BI secretary Jay Kowli, (SAI) Director General Injeti Srinivas, former tennis player Manisha Malhotra who served as the chairman of AIBA’s women commission and former IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh, who is also the advisor of the committee. The fact that former BI secretary Jay Kowli is a pointer to the AIBA reposing faith in the former international referee.

It may be noted that the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was suspended by AIBA in December 2012 as the world body felt that the federation’s elections were manipulated. The AIBA accorded first provisional recognition and subsequently permanent recognition to newly-christened Boxing India last year, which triggered hope that boxing in India will be back on track after a literally headless federation thanks to the AIBA ban. The fact that subtle politicking was at play was evident as Boxing India was not given recognition by the IOA and it was felt that Abhay Singh Chautala was in no mood to let go his grip over Indian boxing and was plotting his way to mark a comeback – he had served as IABF President for a long while before his brother-in-law and BJP MP Abhshek Matoria took over from him in 2012.

The 2015 is a crucial year for Indian boxing – the Asian Championships are slated to be held in Bangkok this August, while the World Championships will be held in Doha in October, which serve as the qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics. One hopes the newly-appointed ad-hoc committee does it job and our boxers do not suffer!

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