Pugilist Neeraj Goyat has come out with shocking accusations on the Boxing Federation of India. The boxer took to his twitter and posted a video where he explains how the country's apex body for boxing is no better than the Wrestling Federation of India, which is currently under huge pressure.
"As you might be aware of the state in which India's wrestling federation is, let me tell you about the country's boxing federation," Neeraj opens his two and half minute long address.
"The federation only wants to click pictures with those athletes who win at Olympics, Commonwealth or the Asian Games. They don't care about those who lose, or why they lose," Goyat starts his scathing attack on the BFI.
The 31-year-old, who took to professional boxing back in 2012, had clinched a bronze in a 2016 Rio Olympics qualifying event in Venezuela, having failed to book a berth for the final games. Neeraj goes on to cite examples of fellow athletes who were ignored by the federation.
"Amit Panghal was sure to win a medal at the Olympics, but unfortunately lost out in the pre-quarters. After the loss, he was mentally and physically broken, and the federation didn't feel the need to speak to him," Goyat adds.
Another pugilist whose situation Neeraj throws light on is Vikas Krishan Yadav. Goyat alleges that the federation was already abreast of Yadav's shoulder injury in Italy, where the three-time Olympian was involved in a pre-Olympics training camp. Despite that, Yadav went ahead with his quest for gold and faced a first-round exit at Tokyo.
"The federation did not bat an eye despite knowing of Yadav's injury in Italy. Even after he returned from Tokyo, the federation did not even know the name of the hospital in which Vikas was treated. If he had won a medal, the BFI president would have been the first to receive him at the airport and click a picture," Goyat says.
According to the first Indian boxer who made it to the WBC (World Boxing Council) World Rankings, the federation's president would call all the boxers ahead of the Olympics, but not a peep after.
Even Tokyo Olympics quarter-finalist Satish Kumar Yadav was subjected to the federation's negligence, as stated by Neeraj Goyat in his video.
"The federation's only concern is to get publicity in the media. This is the case with all the sports federations in India. They should be disbanded and started afresh. A rule should be implemented which states that in order to be top brass, one must have sporting achievements," he concludes.
Star boxers like Nikhat Zareen, Amit Panghal, and Vijender Singh have come out in solidarity with the protesting wrestlers, with Singh going to Jantar Mantar.
It remains to be seen whether other Indian boxers come forward and echo Neeraj Goyat's claims, and whether the wrestlers have inspired other athletes from varying disciplines to raise their voice