Twitter reacts to Nikhat Zareen controversy over alleged foul play by Boxing Federation
With social media platforms erupting in support of the 23-year-old boxer, we only hope that the BFI along with the Sports Minister can arrive at a fair solution.
Things have snowballed quickly in the boxing camp with Nikhat Zareen deciding to not stay quiet about the alleged foul play by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). Unwilling to accept the decision of the BFI to send in 6-time World Champion, Mary Kom into the Olympic qualifiers without putting her through the trials against Zareen, has considerably upset the former Junior Boxing World Champion. On Thursday, 17th October, Nikhat took to Twitter to voice her anguish and posted an open letter to Kiren Rijiju, the Sports Minister of the country, asking for "a fair chance."
Having been the victim on several occasions, Nikhat has been constantly denied to appear in trials whenever it clashed with Mary Kom. Earlier in August, her trial for the selection to the World Championships was cancelled at the ninth hour and much to her surprise, Mary Kom was sent along to participate. True enough, the Manipuri boxer returned from Russia with a record eighth World Championship medal which made the BFI decide on her as the automatic candidate for the Olympic Qualifiers next year.
The 23-year-old Nikhat Zareen, however, is not prepared to accept every such ruling by the BFI and has therefore pleaded to Rijiju to take action and "help protect the honour of sports." Ever since Nikhat posted the open letter to the Sports Minister, the Asian Championships bronze medalist received the instant support and encouragement from athletes and Olympians alike, who are backing up the Nizamabad girl. Competing for the 51 kg weight category, both the 36-year-old Mary Kom and the young Nikhat, have become the center of much controversy. With several complicated ploys at play, there are many respected athletes who matched their voice with Nikhat in asking "for a fair chance" in the form of a trial to decide who will go for the Olympic Qualifiers in Wuhan, next year.
Abhinav Bindra retweeted Nikhat's post and highlighted the importance of an athlete being put through trials, no matter what their past achievements may have been, to ensure they are the best bet for India. Bindra, who did the country proud by becoming an Olympic gold medalist in an individual event (10-meter air rifle) in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, sided with the 23-year-old boxer, in her fight for a fair chance to represent her country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Shooter and coach, Joydeep Karmakar also took to Twitter to express his wish that maybe the great Mary Kom will not let this matter slide by. The fourth-position holder at the 2012 London Olympics, Karmakar hopes that Kom will come ahead and arrive at a comfortable solution before the authorities "rethink about a trial."
There are still others who have been pleading with the Sports Minister to look into the matter and arrange for a fair way out of this dilemma. While Mary Kom has proved herself a Champion on countless occasions, it should not come at the cost of shadowing the rising boxers, who are the future of the nation.
With the social media platform erupting in support of the 23-year-old boxer, we only hope that the BFI along with the Sports Minister can arrive at a fair and proper solution to this issue. The question of India's integrity in sports and the selection process will be on the line, otherwise. We hope the matter is resolved at the earliest and the deserving athlete will go ahead to play in the Olympic qualifiers.