The Boxing Federation of India has suspended its Haryana affiliate for attending a meeting of the de-recognised Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), a decision which the defiant state unit plans to challenge in the court. The Haryana State Boxing Association was served with a show cause notice after it attended a meeting of the IABF in August.

The HSBA, however, did not respond to it, prompting the Disputes and Disciplinary Committee of the BFI to recommend the state’s suspension, which the governing body accepted. “It is hereby informed that Haryana State Boxing Association has been suspended from the Boxing Federation of India with immediate effect. “It is further informed that Rakesh Thakran (HSBA Secretary) has also been suspended from all boxing activities of the Boxing Federation of India with immediate effect,” PTI reported.

However, the BFI assured that the boxers from the state will continue to compete in national and international tournaments and will not be impacted by the HSBA’s suspension. “The boxers will not suffer. They will be competing like usual in the Nationals and will be a part of the national camp as well once it resumes after the National Championships later this month,” a top BFI official said. “The state association will be replaced by an ad-hoc committee after consultations with the Sports Ministry and the IOA,” he added.

HSBA threaten to move court

The HSBA, on the other hand, vowed to take the legal route. “The BFI President, Ajay Singh, is not entitled to take such action. We will take the legal route and challenge this. We are also giving him time till October 22 to overturn this suspension,” said HSBA Secretary Rakesh Thakran. “This suspension is not legal, neither is it fair. It cannot stand,” he added.

The IABF was de-recognised by the Sports Ministry after being terminated by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) back in 2014. The IABF was initially terminated by the AIBA for manipulation in its 2012 elections, a move that led to four years of administrative turmoil in Indian boxing, ending with the formation of the BFI last year.

In its place, the BFI took over as the recognised body to run boxing last year. The BFI was voted to office in elections overseen by the AIBA and the Sports Ministry. The BFI also got the recognition from the Indian Olympic Association earlier this year. However, there are signs of fresh turbulence with the IABF’s attempts at reviving itself.

Haryana, considered the cradle of Indian boxing given its huge talent pool, is an important cog for the national federation and the state association’s representation at the August 27 IABF meeting had set the alarm bells ringing for the BFI.