Internet Desk: India’s return to the international boxing fold was completed on Tuesday with the AIBA unanimously granting full membership to the recently-formed Boxing Federation of India (BFI) at a meeting on the sidelines of its 70th anniversary gala in Montreux, Switzerland.
The BFI was voted to office in September earlier this year, ending four years of administrative logjam in the sport.
“AIBA has voted unanimously to grant full membership to India,” BFI President Ajay Singh, who is currently in Montreux to take part in the AIBA event, told the media.
The BFI has already been granted affiliation by the Sports Ministry but is awaiting recognition from the Indian Olympic Association, which has referred the matter to an affiliation committee.
Indian boxing was thrown into disarray back in 2012 when the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) was first suspended and later terminated for “possible manipulation in elections”.
IABF paved the way for Boxing India in 2014 but the body could not run the show for even one year and lost a no confidence motion moved by disgruntled state units in 2015. After another year of wrangling, BFI took shape in September following elections conducted in the presence of observers from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Sports Ministry.
Since being voted in, the BFI has conducted the National Championships for both men and women and will be holding the Nationals for youth boxers next month.
India’s international suspension for the past four years had resulted in the isolation of the country’s boxers, who were deprived of foreign exposure for most part.
The lack of competitive boxing was a major factor in the boxers’ medal-less Olympic campaign in Rio after only three made the cut, a sharp decline from the eight who participated in the 2012 edition.
But with AIBA formally recognising the new federation, the opportunities in international training-cum-competition events are set to increase for Indian boxers.