COVID-19 crisis: Asian Boxing Championship moved from Delhi to Dubai

The tournament was to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium from May 21 to 31 in the national capital, which is recording over 20,000 daily COVID-19 cases right now.

Mary Kom is expected to spearhead the Indian challenge at the Asian Boxing Championship next month.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

The Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) has moved the Asian boxing championships from New Delhi to Dubai due to the worsening pandemic situation in the country.

The continental event, which was earlier postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will be co-hosted by the UAE Boxing Association and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) from May 21 to June 1, which is one day more than the original schedule.

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The ASBC on Tuesday informed all member nations about the change.

The prestigious event was scheduled to be held at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi. However, with the newly-imposed international travel restrictions from many countries due to the prevailing pandemic situation, BFI and ASBC jointly took a decision to relocate the tournament, said a BFI release on Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to shift the venue out of India…but we are left with no options. Boxers’ safety is most important. We are grateful to UAE for agreeing to co-host it on such a short notice,” said BFI president Ajay Singh.

Amid speculation that the Indian team might fly out of the country a few weeks prior to the event to meet COVID protocols in the UAE, BFI secretary Himanta Kalita said the federation would act as per the need.

“As of now there is no such plan. But it is 100 percent confirmed that the Indian team will participate in the event. We will follow all necessary safety protocols,” Kalita told The Hindu.