World Boxing C'ships: All you need to know about the Fair Chance Team

The Fair Chance Team was created by the IBA in response to the growing displacement and humanitarian crisis to give every boxer a fair chance and fair fight.

Lovlina Borgohain will be up against Cindy winner Djankeu Ngamba in the pre-quarterfinals. (Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain’s upcoming pre-quarterfinals fight against Cindy Winner Djankeu Ngamba in the World women’s boxing championships on Friday has made Indian boxing followers interested about the team, Fair Chance Team (FCT), the latter is representing in Istanbul.

What is FCT?

FCT is a team floated by the International Boxing Association (IBA), previously AIBA, during the men’s World championships in Belgrade, Serbia, in October last year primarily for refugee athletes. The theme of the event was ‘Fair Chance, Fair Fight.’

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When was it created?

“The FCT was created in response to growing displacement and global humanitarian crises. The project aims to support talented boxers who may not be in their native countries or may not be able to represent those countries due to various humanitarian reasons,” said an International Boxing Association (IBA) statement.

“Every boxer deserves a fair chance and a fair fight. We are fully committed to that principle and we hope to demonstrate just how dedicated we are to keeping that at the core of our boxing events. It is critical to ensure a safe environment for all athletes, and especially for people in transition. I truly believe that by helping people in need we help society, at the same time as we develop boxing,” said IBA President Umar Kremlev. 

Afghanistan-born boxer Tawfiqullah, an FCT member in the October event, said, “To represent the FCT here in Belgrade is a unique chance for me. Together with others from my team we went through many difficulties to come here and I am very thankful to AIBA for such a great opportunity.”

Altogether 10 boxers participated from two FCTs – nine in one team and one in another. There was the need to create two FCTs as two boxers belonged to the 57kg weight class.

Boxers also participated under the FCT banner in the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) continental championships earlier this year.

How many FCT athletes are taking part in the World women’s boxing championships?

Two boxers are participating in the ongoing World women’s boxing championships. Apart from Cindy, who will fight with Lovlina in a 70kg fight, Angelina Lucas is also representing FCT in 52kg.

Why are they competing under the FCT banner?

Cindy, in her early 20s, is from England and a three-time National champion in three different weights.

The Cameroon born Cindy does not have a British passport. Thus she is competing as a FCT athlete. According to Great Britain Boxing, Cindy travelled to Istanbul with the GB team and her participation in the competition was funded by the IBA.

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Recently she sparred with some boxers from Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS), Vijaynagar, during a camp and is rated highly.  

Angelina is a boxer from Kazakhstan. According to www.nur.kz, Angelina had to fight as a ‘refugee’ “due to the fact that Kazakhstan, in the 52kg weight category, is represented by another athlete – Zhaina  Shekerbekova.”

Even though IBA allows professional boxers to compete in amateur events, Angelina was not listed in the National side (among amateur boxers) after turning professional last year.

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