Veteran sports administrator Ashok Mattoo passes away

The former president of the Boxing Federation of India and the treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Ashok Mattoo, passed away on Wednesday morning, after being ill for the past few months.

Mattoo, who was also with the Indian contingent for the Olympics etc., as the Chef de Mission at times, had served the boxing federation for more than two decades.

The former president of the Boxing Federation of India and the treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Ashok Mattoo, passed away here on Wednesday morning, after being ill for the past few months. He was 76. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and grandchildren.

Mattoo, who was also with the Indian contingent for the Olympics etc., as the Chef de Mission at times, had served the boxing federation for more than two decades. Gurcharan Singh almost fulfilled the dreams of everyone when he came close to winning the bronze medal in boxing in the Sydney Olympics.

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An Olympic medal, especially in boxing, was an impossible dream for the Indians in those days. Gurcharan led towards the end and a punch in the last few seconds turned the table on him.

The former secretary general of the Amateur Indian Boxing Association (AIBA), Ashok Gangopadhyay, recalled fondly his association with Mattoo for more than four decades, after attending the cremation in Gurugram in the evening.

A kind-hearted and honest official, Mattoo never hesitated in spending from his pocket for sports. Many in the boxing fraternity worked purely for his sake and were in awe of his personality and integrity. Once he relinquished his association with the boxing federation in 2001, a few of his staunch supporters also left the arena.

Mattoo was also the treasurer of the IOA when the Commonwealth Games was hosted in Delhi in 2010 and served the cause with great diligence.

‘’I met him a few days back. He had a sense of humour also when he was in the mood. Otherwise, he spoke little. He was hospitalised for some time, with sugar and related issues. He developed further complications in the hospital. He was fine at home but had problems from last night. It is a great personal loss for me, as I had known him for more than 40 years’’, said Gangopadhyay.