Akhil Kumar says that the IOA-BI tussle will harm boxers
New Delhi, February 3 (IANS)
Veteran Indian boxer Akhil Kumar on Tuesday said the ongoing administrative tussle between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Boxing India (BI) is only harming the pugilists.
Boxers of the country are in a flux after the International Boxing Association (AIBA)-recognised BI instructed all state units to bar their pugilists from participating at the ongoing National Games in Kerala, as BI is not recognised by IOA.
“At the end of the day, the only person at a loss is the boxer. They should be careful and stay away from these politics. The administrators should think about the sport,” the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said at a promotional event here.
“The decisions have to be finally taken by the boxers themselves and they should be careful while deciding. It is unfortunate. First we were banned for two years and now this,” added Akhil, referring to Indian Amateur Boxing Federation's (IABF) ban in 2012.
The Arjuna awardee said that once an International Federation (IF), like AIBA, gives recognition to a member association, like BI, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of that country, the IOA in this case, should also give recognition.
“As far as I know, the AIBA president had said that if the world body gives recognition to its member Association, the NOC should also recognise it as it is in accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter,” said the 33-year-old.
“But in today's date everyone is selfish, whether it is the coach or the boxer. Everyone wants to be in the power group. These are political matters backed by ego issues.”
Asked about BI's new national league – the Indian Series of Boxing – Akhil said these sorts of leagues would benefit the players.
“All these leagues are beneficial for sportspersons, not just financially but it also improves the quality of the sport, helping it to grow. Cricket started it with the Indian Premier League (IPL) but look at how others have picked it up, for example Kabaddi,” said Akhil.