Pugilists in quandary, future of national camps uncertain
As many as five senior, junior and sub-junior boxing camps are in progress at various SAI centres, and today's decision by the world body has cast a doubt on India's participation in the prestigious AIBA tournaments.
To make matter worse for the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, the government also cracked the whip on IABF by suspending its recognition citing "flawed and faulty" elections and giving it 15 days to confirm a re-election.
The development has jeopardised the future of ongoing camps, but the Sports Authority of India assured the boxers that they can continue to train at the SAI centres, and the sports ministry's decision will not have an immediate impact on the future of the training-cum-competition camps.
The allocated budget by the Sports Ministry for the boxing discipline for the financial year ending March 2013 is Rs 10.64 lakhs and the expenditure incurred so far has been Rs 676 lakhs approximately.
A senior national camp is going for the men's team at Patiala from November 15 to December 25 for the 22nd President's Cup to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia next year for which the dates are yet to be announced.
Similarly, the national camp for junior women's team is going on in Vizag from November 15 to December 15 for 40 boxers (including eight coaches and two supporting staff) for training-cum-competition and Asian Youth Women Boxing Championships in 2013.
In Aurangabad, the junior men's team is training for the A Agralov Cup Boxing championship to be held at Baku from December 19-24. The camp, which started on November 15 and will continue till December 17, has 40 boxers including eight coaches and one supporting staff.
The sub-junior women national coaching camp is going on in Bhopal from November 28 to January 4 for 38 boxers (including eight coaches and two supporting staff) in preparation for the 2nd Nations Cup championship, to be held at Serbia from January 8 to 13.
Another camp is proposed at Vizag for the junior women's team from December 27 to January 31 in preparation for the training-cum-competition and Asian Youth Women Boxing Championship.
The news of IABF's suspension has come at a time when the World Youth men's championship is in progress at Armenia (November 25 to December 8) wherein three of our boxers have qualified for the semifinals and are assured of winning at least a bronze.
The decision to suspend IABF has also put a question mark on India's participation in the invitational tournaments since these events need the governing body's approval.
"Apart from the AIBA events, the invitational tournaments also need the approval of the world body and today's decision has placed a doubt on it. If we talk about today, the decision by AIBA bars India from participating in the invitationals also," said an official.
"The next AIBA event is far but we would not sit on it and get the suspension revoked as soon as possible," he added.