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IOC to send observers for Boxing Worlds: BFI President Ajay Singh

BFI President Ajay Singh confirmed that IOC will send a team to observe the upcoming IBA Women's Boxing World Championships.

IOC to send observers for Boxing Worlds: BFI President Ajay Singh


Updated: 10 March 2023 4:17 PM GMT

With just days to go for the Women's World Championships here, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) still has "no clarity" if the prestigious tournament is a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, president Ajay Singh said on Friday.

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board had in December last year decided against lifting the suspension on the International Boxing Association (IBA) due to concerns around its governance, financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of refereeing and judging processes.

The IOC had informed the IBA that it would conduct boxing qualification events leading up to the Paris Olympics. The IOC also conducted the Olympic qualification process before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Last month, IBA issued a statement saying it "has taken upon itself as the international governing body of boxing to provide a clear process and pathway for its athletes to qualify for Paris 2024".

The world body declared that the upcoming IBA-run women's and men's World Championships in New Delhi and Tashkent respectively will be the "main qualification events". But the IOC has since rejected IBA's claim, which gave rise to confusion.

"There is no clarity on that. The IOC will take a call on whether the results here will be considered for (Paris) Olympics qualification or another tournament will be announced at a later date," said Singh during a press conference.

He added that the IOC will be sending its team of observers for the championship, scheduled to begin here on March 15. "The IOC is sending its team, including observers for the championships." The issue has got all the more complex with the IBA deciding to lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers, allowing them to compete under their flag at the championships, against the IOC's recommendations due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

As many as 11 countries have pulled out of the marquee event in Delhi and the IBA opened disciplinary proceedings against five officials for "inciting a boycott". But still over 350 women boxers from 74 countries -- the highest ever in the history of the championships -- will be competing here.

Singh hoped that the relations between the IOC and IBA will become congenial, adding that the former was "interested" in the betterment of the sport. "Well, the IOC has not granted (Olympic qualification to the Women's World Championship yet). We have some hope. This could be deemed (as a) qualification event (later on). Nevertheless, it is a premier championship." Singh added that India will be keen to host an Olympic qualifying event.

"If the IOC doesn't give it the (Olympic qualification) status, India will certainly throw in the hat for getting an (Olympic qualification) event later on," added Singh.

India will be represented in the championships by Nitu Ghanghas (48kg), reigning champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg), Preeti (54kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Shashi Chopra (63kg), Manju Bamboria (66kg), Sanamcha Chanu (70kg), Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Saweety Boora (81kg) and Nupur Sheoran (81+kg).

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