Tough love, sport
In a major relief to the Indian boxers, AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) has said that the Indian boxers can take part in AIBA events under the AIBA flag, with the condition that no official can accompany the team. The decision came after the now de-recognised Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) approached AIBA to get the approval for its Men’s Youth team to take part in the Abbas Agalarov International Youth Cup to be held at Baku, Azerbaijan, from December 19 to 24. Earlier, AIBA had said that no Indian boxers can take part in any event as long as the suspension on the Indian body remains.
“Boxers and coaches may participate in the A Agalarov Cup in Baku under the AIBA flag but no official whatsoever. It will be same for all competitions until the current situation is resolved,”said AIBA PR and communications director Sebastien Gellot in an email to The Indian Express. The IABF received an email from AIBA on Wednesday saying the Indian youth team could take part in the Baku event but without the officials.
Interference does raise automatic hackles, but the terrible state of Indian sports is well known. Events like the Delhi Commonwealth Games tremendously mismanaged, any sporting event draws more officials than sportspersons, and management of sports is often left to people who are in and out of jail. After the current debacle, support for sports may die out in India, or sports may emerge stronger, but there will be change.