New boxing federation to have player representation

The former boxers — one male and one female — in the committee will be picked through elections after registering all the retired pugilists via an athletes commission. The active members will be elected during the National Championships that will be held after BFI takes charge.

The elected boxers will be part of the Executve Committee and they will have a voice in every decision taken by the federation.   -  PTI

In a first for boxing administration in India, the proposed new federation will have representation from current and former pugilists by including them in the Executive Committee after elections for the new office-bearers are conducted next month.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is expected to take shape by May 14, the deadline set by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to set up the new federation failing which the country’s boxers might be barred from this August’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“Four boxers — two men and two women — will now be duly elected in BFI’s Executive Committee independently,” a top official said.

The former boxers — one male and one female — in the committee will be picked through elections after registering all the retired pugilists via an athletes commission. The active members will be elected during the National Championships that will be held after BFI takes charge.

“All the boxers participating in the Championships will get to vote for their choice. The elected boxers will be part of the EC and they will have a voice in every decision taken by the federation,” the official said.

Besides, the new federation, the election for which is tentatively set for May 8 but could be delayed for a few days owing to nomination procedures, is set to have eight zonal representatives.

But the move is being met with some resistance. “The actual number agreed upon in the April 16 meeting in Kolkata was six. Eight zones was never discussed and a majority of the members are in favour of six zones,” said another top official.

The process to have the new federation in place by May 14 is picking up pace with the Sports Ministry deciding to give its No Objection Certificate (NOC) for BFI’s registration. Besides, the Ministry has also agreed to depute its observer for the polls.

The Ministry’s nod is expected to clear the path for greater cooperation between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the AIBA-appointed ad-hoc committee, which is currently administering the sport in the absence of a federation.

Only one Indian boxer — Shiva Thapa (56kg) — has qualified for the Rio Olympics so far with two more qualifying events — one each for men and women — still to go.