Following a thorough briefing on the state of boxing, including governance difficulties within the International Boxing Association (IBA), the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has adopted a new qualification system for boxing for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
New Model of Boxing qualification for Olympics
The IOC EB received a new qualification model, which was agreed upon during its meeting in Lausanne, after resolving in June of last year that the boxing qualifying competitions and events for Paris 2024 would not be managed by the IBA.
The new qualification system, which was developed by the IOC in close consultation with boxing experts, is based on direct qualification through a few chosen competitions, including the use of regional multi-sport events sponsored by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) as Olympic boxing qualification competitions. Therefore, the IBA will not be responsible for the boxing competitions at the following events, and substitute plans will be made with the appropriate event organisers. The events shortlisted are continental multi-sporting events:-
- Pan-American Games – Santiago 2023
- European Games – Krakow 2023
- Pacific Games – Honiara 2023
- Asian Games – Hangzhou 2022 (taking place in 2023)
- ANOCA (Africa) multisport event to be confirmed
Two world qualification competitions are scheduled to take place in 2024 after the continental phase of the quota slot allocation.
The new Olympic qualification procedure prioritises boxers, reducing qualification complexity by utilising existing regional competitions and providing up to three opportunities for qualification, ultimately establishing a fair and equal pathway for all boxers.
How is better than the previous system?
Till Tokyo Olympics, AIBA (Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur) used to conduct continental qualifiers and 1 world qualifier essentially giving every boxer two attempts at an Olympic berth but under the new system, but now every boxer will have three opportunities to qualify for the Olympics making it fairer for the boxers.
What happens to International Boxing Association (IBA)?
The IOC continues to express its concerns about the IBA's governance, especially the refereeing and judging system and the IBA's financial dependence on the state-owned firm Gazprom.
IOC EB received a report on the concerns raised by outside experts at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham's boxing tournament about competition management, refereeing, and judging procedures.
It further stated that the IBA has not demonstrated any clear attempts to adhere to and fully implement the governance agenda established by the IOC EB in December 2021.
At the moment, IBA remains suspended and won't be involved in any of the organisation of boxing events.