BFI hopes to keep World Championships in India. - SportsGuru

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

BFI hopes to keep World Championships in India.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) will approach the Indian government in its fight to remain hosts of the 2021 Men’s World Championships, after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) declared its intent to find a new host.

The federation president (Ajay Singh) will be approaching officials in the government to get the necessary details to make sure we remain hosts for the World Championship, said BFI secretary general Jay Kowli to The Indian Express. He will put his best foot forward in his discussions because this is an important tournament for us as hosts and also for our upcoming boxers.

India was awarded hosting rights for the New Delhi-based event back in 2017, making it the first time the country would host a men’s World Championship. As it stands though, with the AIBA acting in compliance with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recommendation to not grant the country hosting rights for any ‘Olympic-related’ events, the elite tournament may become the biggest hosting casualty.

The 2021 men’s World Championship is very important for us in our preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Kowli said. We have a number of young boxers who will be top prospects at the time, but for their preparation for Paris, the 2021 event is very important for us. If this tournament was a bilateral event, then it would have been a different matter. But a World Championship has a lot of prestige and there’s a lot at stake, he added.

The IOC’s recommendation came after the Indian government denied visas to a Pakistani team that was to compete at the New Delhi-held shooting World Cup. Political relations between the two countries have grown tense after the terror attack in Pulwama leading to the death of 44 CRPF personnel.

Subsequently, the AIBA, in response to a query by this newspaper, claimed that it will study the possibility to re-open the bidding process for the world event.

Back in November, the AIBA had already been irked by the failure of the Indian hosts of the women’s World Championship to provide a visa to Donjeta Sadiku of Kosovo – a European nation not officially recognised by the Indian government.

For the sanctions to be lifted, according to the IOC’s statement issued last week, it will require clear written guarantees from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter.

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