AIBA initiates steps to correct officiating issues

Tom Virgets informed that the AIBA has also introduced an evaluation system to ensure consistency in officiating.

Boxing has been cutting a sorry figure in several elite meets, including the Olympics, World Championships and Asian Games, where boxers have staged protests over debatable officiating. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images

Acknowledging that referring and judging has been an Achilles heel for boxing over the years, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has made some drastic changes to its system to 'correct the problems.'

Boxing has been cutting a sorry figure in several elite meets, including the Olympics, World Championships and Asian Games, where boxers have staged protests over debatable officiating.

“The problems go back to early 1980s. Almost in every Olympics, there have been concerns regarding refereeing and judging.

“Now, AIBA has a few things done to correct these problems. It has taken the politics out of choosing the referees and judges. The referees and judges used to be approved by the president and an executive director. Both of them have been removed from the process. It is the only process that takes place within the commissions,” said AIBA executive director Tom Virgets on the sidelines of the World women's boxing championships, here.

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“We have gone back to five judges instead of three. We know there is an eight per cent change in scoring when you used five judges as opposed to three."

“We are training twice as many officials as we have in the past and we are aiming to increase that number to 200 per cent. Larger the pool of trained officials, better the officials we are going to have. We have changed the curriculum and work on them to ensure the officials are getting the best of training.”

Virgets informed that the AIBA has also introduced an evaluation system to ensure consistency in officiating. “We have also added a protest system into the programme which will take place at the start of next year. This system is going to allow coaches and athletes to protest about if they feel the officiating was way off the mark,” said Virgets.