The Boxing Federation of India on Tuesday (April 28) slammed the International Boxing Association for taking away the hosting rights from India, stating that the decision was taken ‘in haste’. AIBA had earlier given the hosting rights to Belgrade, Serbia, due to alleged non-payment of host fees by BFI.


The BFI acknowledged the delay but said that procedural complications were the reason for the delay in payment. It also said that AIBA’s failure to resolve issues with the account in which the money was to be transferred led to the fiasco.

The payment of around $ 4 million was due on December 2, 2019. “After New Delhi didn’t fulfill its obligations to pay host fee as mentioned in the Host City Agreement terms, AIBA has terminated the contract. Therefore, India would have to pay a cancellation penalty of $500000,” a statement from AIBA read.

This was India’s first chance to host the Boxing World Championships.


“Serbia has everything to organize a great event for athletes, coaches, officials, and, of course, for our boxing fans,” AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane stated.

BFI have issued another statement to state their reasons.


“The WCH-2021 was allotted to BFI and the host city agreement was signed. Subsequently, AIBA account in Lausanne was frozen,” the statement issued by BFI read.


“AIBA intended to have some previous payments through an account in Serbia. As Serbia is in the Gray List of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) countries, Indian Banks do not normally send money to Serbia. AIBA could not resolve these issues. The account of AIBA in Switzerland as mentioned in Host City Agreement is still inoperative,” it added. “While the payment of first instalment of host fee was to be paid by December 01, 2019, AIBA invited fresh bids on December 01, 2019 itself. Therefore, we have reasons to believe that the decision to change the venue of WCH-2021 was taken in haste without due consultation with BFI,” the statement further read.

AIBA has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee for financial mismanagement.


BFI’s statement also read: “”We are in touch with AIBA and BFI President Mr Ajay Singh has spoken with AIBA Interim President, Dr Mohamed Mustahsane a while back and both parties are working for an amicable solution. BFI is confident that the penalty will be waived off and we will host the World Championships in future.”


Meanwhile, Serbian Boxing Federation President Nenad Borovcanin welcomed the Championships back to Serbia after a hiatus of 43 years.


“After the historical tournament of 1978 in the capital city of Yugoslavia, this is the second time for our nation to be back as hosts. I strongly believe that the Serbian Boxing Federation will do a fantastic job in organising this tournament…,” he said.


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