BFI not to pay fine, keeps CAS option open

The AIBA went through lots of upheavals as the IOC suspended the apex boxing body last year for various irregularities and debarred it from the Olympics.

The event was awarded to New Delhi during the tenure of former AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu in 2017 and the contract was signed with his successor Gafur Rahimov early last year for USD 4 million.   -  REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has kept the option of moving the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) open and is in no mood to pay the penalty imposed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for termination of the host city contract of the 2021 World boxing championships.

Even as it is working towards an amicable solution, the BFI think-tank feels that it is not at fault.

The event was awarded to New Delhi during the tenure of former AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu in 2017 and the contract was signed with his successor Gafur Rahimov early last year for USD 4 million.

READ: India loses hosting rights of 2021 men's world boxing championships

The AIBA went through lots of upheavals as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the apex boxing body last year for various irregularities and debarred it from the Olympics.

String of events

The string of events prompted the replacement of Rahimov with interim-president Mohamed Moustahsane.

The due date to pay the first installment ($2 million) of the contracted amount was December 1, 2019, while the AIBA sent the invoice (dated February 10, 2020) for the initial installment to BFI much after the usual grace period of one month (December 31).

On the other hand, “AIBA invited fresh bids on December 1, 2019 itself.”

READ: AIBA keen to bring back headgear for male amateur boxers

Since the AIBA bank account in Switzerland, mentioned in the host city contract, was freezed and the world body intended to have some previous payments through an account in Serbia, which is on the intergovernmental body ‘Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list’ and to where 'Indian banks do not normally send money’, the BFI found difficulties in sending the first installment.

According to BFI, the AIBA, running with a 'skeletal staff', took the decision hastily without following proper procedure.

Surprisingly, the bid was awarded to Serbia at a ‘reduced bid of $2 million’ without formally cancelling the contract with India, said a source. “How can you cancel a contract without writing anything in response to our query?”

Another point of confusion is the amount of penalty. An AIBA release says, “India would have to pay a cancellation penalty of $500.000.”

“We are not sure whether it’s $500 or $500,000. There is no justification of paying any penalty, not even ₹1. If required, we may move CAS,” said a BFI official.

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