Rio Olympics 2016: Indian boxers will probably have to fight under AIBA flag in the Summer Games
It’s a dream for any boxer to play for the country and win a medal for the nation. But for the three-member India boxing contingent of Shiva Thapa, Vikas Kishan and Manoj Kumar, this may not be a reality as a boxing federation is unlikely to be in place before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
No federation effectively means that three Indian men boxers will have to play under the AIBA flag, and if they do make a podium finish in Rio, the AIBA flag will be hoisted and not the country’s tricolour.
Such a reality stares in the face of the Indian pugilists as not much headway seemed to be made by stakeholders involved with setting up a federation. It is learnt that the country will likely have a federation after the August Olympics with the much-awaited elections for the Boxing Federation of India expected to be held in September – a move one learns has been cleared by the world body – AIBA.
“It does look like our boxers will box under the AIBA flag in Rio. Time is running out and with just two weeks away, it appears boxers are resigned to their fate,” says a former boxing official.
The installation of a federation has been going for a long while now and it appears all the decks are being cleared for the same. “There has been a delay in getting a federation in place. So many factors are involved but one can say that the country will have a federation in place by September-end,” the former boxing functionary added.
There is talk that the proposed elections could be held in Delhi. “Delhi is an option though Mumbai or Kolkata is not ruled out. We will take a call on it soon,” the official remarked.
One hopes that Indian boxing gets the much-needed federation by September and the sport goes from strength to strength.