Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh is in fray to be Asia’s representative in the AIBA Executive Committee when the under-fire world body goes to polls where controversial interim President Gafur Rakhimov is set for re-election to the top post.
Singh’s nomination was approved, along with 10 others from the Asian bloc, by the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) election committee chairman Jost Schmid on Wednesday in Lausanne.
The elections are scheduled to be held on November 3 during the AIBA’s annual conference in Moscow starting November 2.
Currently, India does not have representation in the AIBA EC. Veteran technical official Kishan Narsi was the last Indian to find a place in the EC but his tenure ended after the BFI came into existence in 2015.
Singh will face competition from nominees of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE.
Singh, also co-founder of low-cost airline Spicejet, is currently a member of the Asian Boxing Confederation’s EC.
The AIBA, which is in International Olympic Committee’s line of fire right now, is set to defy the IOC and elect Rakhimov as President after his was the lone nomination approved for the position by Schmid.
The IOC has warned that boxing’s future in Olympics would be in jeopardy if Rakhimov is re-elected. The Uzbek has been linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department and is fighting a legal battle to get his name cleared, insisting that he is innocent.
He took over as AIBA’s interim President after the long-serving Dr Ching Kuo-Wu was forced to step down following a revolt last year owing to allegations of financial mismanagement during his tenure. AIBA has been struggling to end the turmoil that followed his ouster.
Its funding has been stopped by the IOC, which spoke of “significant concern” over key areas including its governance and ethical and financial management.
The IOC has warned that should the AIBA fail in addressing all its concerns, boxing would be axed from the biggest stage of all. The popular combat sport has been contested at every Olympics since its introduction at the 1904 Games, barring Stockholm 1912.
The most recent IOC warning came on Wednesday after an executive board meeting in which it expressed concerns about the “grave situation within the AIBA and its current governance.”
“These include the circumstances of the establishment of the election list and the misleading communication within the AIBA membership regarding the IOC’s position,” read a statement issued by the IOC.
“Therefore, the IOC reiterates its clear position that if the governance issues are not properly addressed to the satisfaction of the IOC at the forthcoming AIBA Congress, the existence of boxing on the Olympic programme and even the recognition of AIBA as an International Federation recognised by the IOC are under threat.