AIBA-WBC dispute stalls boxing merger


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By Joseph Mchekadona

BFT secretary general, Mashaga Makore

The Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT) has stumbled to start organising and managing professional and amateur events as a result of the ongoing dispute between the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA).

The two global bodies are at loggerheads on who should organise professional boxing bouts.

BFT secretary general Mashaga Makore said AIBA has communicated to all its members informing them that they must wait for further announcement to start organising professional boxing events.

AIBA mid last year announced that from early this year they will start organising professional boxing on top of their ordinary amateur events.

The WBC want all boxers who meet the Olympic qualifying levels regardless of their competence should compete at the Games.

Before AIBA’s intention to organise and manage professional boxing events, only amateur boxers were eligible to compete at the Olympics.

“The WBC and its president José Sulaimán strongly object steps taken by AIBA to organise professional boxing tournaments under the name WSB,” he said.

He said the WBC has complained to the IOC over AIBA's increasing move away from amateurism and said that the IOC should stop them.

According to the WBC media release written by its president, the AIBA/WSB’s elitist attitude in disregard of the rights of the worlds’ boxers is further confirmed by their exclusion of third-world countries among their proposed tournament sites.

“In furtherance of its nefarious intentions, AIBA withdrew the letter ‘A’, which denoted “amateur” from its acronym. By doing so, the new AIBA now has become part of a group of about ten professional boxing organizations, all of which should have the same rights,” said part of the release.

It further said the WBC has sent three inquiries about the AIBA/WSB’s discriminatory actions to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president Rogge.

In its inquiries, the WBC has asked Rogge to endorse or disavow AIBA/WSB’s actions, which are illegal and in violation of the rights of the citizens of every nation and their legal boxing institutions, however the president and the IOC have not given the WBC even the courtesy of a response.

And according to the WBC letter, all boxers worldwide eligible under current Olympic Games’ requirements, regardless of their country of origin or the organisation with which they are affiliated, should have the same opportunity to compete at the Olympics.

However, AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu on May Day wrote a letter to AIBA national member federations regarding WBC claims, saying his organisation will continue with its plans of organising and manages professional boxing events.

However, the IOC, on April 18, this year responded to WBC complaint over the AIBA claiming that it is not a matter that they should be dealing with.

IOC sports director Christophe Dubi responded to Sulaimán claiming that the WBC should look to address its concerns with AIBA directly rather than approach the Olympic governing body about the issue.

"Thank you for your letter to the IOC President regarding the relationship between the WBC and AIBA. As a result of the IOC recognising AIBA as the International Federation administering boxing at world level, AIBA is responsible for the technical control and direction of its sport at the Olympic Games,” said part of the IOC letter.



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