IOA to discuss IOC diktat after Kosovo controversy

A visa refusal to a boxer from Kosovo at the recent AIBA Women’s World Championships had compelled the International Olympic Committee to ask its member federations not to grant any world event to India involving Kosovo.

Representative Image: High Performance Director Santiago Nieva rued the fact that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) reduced the number of weight categories from 10 to eight in the World championships, following the Tokyo Olympics standards.

Representative Image: Boxer Donjeta Sadiku was refused visa by the Indian government as India does not recognise Kosovo.   -  AP

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), in its annual General Body Meeting (GBM) here on December 22, will discuss a diktat of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to award any world event to India in the wake of a controversy involving a Kosovo boxer.

The IOC had asked all its member federations not to grant any world event to India involving Kosovo after the country denied visa to a boxer from the European nation for the AIBA Women’s World Championships held here last month. Kosovo could not participate at the boxing event after its sole representative Donjeta Sadiku was refused visa by the Indian government, which doesn’t recognise the European country. The IOC has asked all the IFs to get a written undertaking from the Indian authorities for equal participation before allotting the country any world event involving Kosovo.

Read | Boxing on the ropes as IOC weighs Olympic future

One of the items of the agenda of the GBM reads: “Participation of sporting delegations and athletes in international sports events — principle of autonomy and non-discrimination — IOC letter 19 November 2018.”

‘Serious matter’

“It is a serious matter and the IOA GBM will discuss it threadbare,” IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI on Sunday. “We have already written a letter to the sports ministry on this issue. The GBM will decide what course of action needs to be taken. The IOC can take action against India if this issue is not resolved,” he added.

Former IOA Treasurer Anil Khanna had withdrawn his candidature in the elections held in December, 2017. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

 

The election of a senior vice-president and a vice-president will also be held during the GBM.

Anil Khanna in the fray

The IOA had amended its constitution in August to increase the number of senior vice-presidents to two from the current one and the number of vice-presidents to nine from the current eight. The name of former IOA Treasurer Anil Khanna, who withdrew his candidature against current president Narinder Batra in the elections held in December, 2017, is doing the rounds as a likely candidate for the election of senior vice-president.

Read | OCA president to Rathore: Denying Kosovo boxer casts doubts on India’s eligibility to host big events

R. K. Anand is the lone senior vice-president in the existing executive council.

The last date for submission of nominations for the two posts is December 4. The list of contestants after scrutiny will be announced on December 13. Retired District Judge Devendra Kumar Naliwal will act as the returning officer.

This will be the first annual GBM after Batra took over as IOA chief in December last year.