Boxing federation elections postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

The elections were to be held at the federation's December 18 AGM; they have been postponed due to COVID-19.

Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh. - NAGARA GOPAL

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Tuesday announced the postponement of its elections in Gurugram on December 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision to postpone the elections was taken after a majority of member state associations wrote to the Returning Officer, Justice (retd.) Rajesh Tandon, requesting postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of voting members of BFI are above 60 years and are in the high-risk category,” said a BFI statement.

“Subsequently, the Returning Officer has written to the BFI, recommending that elections be deferred.”

BFI claimed that 23 out of 32 state units requested for the postponement and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also gave its approval.

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“After the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had also made it clear that it will adopt a flexible approach to the election cycles of National Olympic Committees (NOC) so that member country's athlete preparations are not hampered,” said the statement.

The four-year tenure of the BFI office-bearers was supposed to get over on September 25. The federation extended its tenure by three months due to the pandemic with a target to hold the elections this month.

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Current BFI president Ajay Singh, seeking re-election for another term, faced former Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president and prominent BJP leader Ashish Shelar in the fight for the top post.

Shelar said he was surprised over the postponement of the BFI elections as state and municipal polls had been held in the country.

“This move shows that the current dispensation of the BFI is not ready to follow the principles of democratic process…The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should look into this delaying tactic,” said Shelar.