Swiss court ruling in favour of AIBA's Wu good news for BFI


MUMBAI: The decision by a Swiss court in Lausanne on Monday dismissing a challenge to the president of world boxing's governing body Wu Ching-Ko, will likely also have come as a relief to the officially recognised Boxing Federation of India.

It is worth recalling that recent moves by the de-recognised Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) to take advantage of the power struggle within AIBA to stage a comeback were nipped in the bud only last week by the Sports Ministry. 

The Sports Ministry has barred the IABF from using "Indian" in its title, thereby rendering it defunct as a national body for all intents and purposes.

What this will also do is allow BFI to fully focus on the tender it had issued in July inviting commercial rights bids for a franchise based professional boxing league it intends to launch. The bid scrutiny and announcement of the winner/s was supposed to have happened on September 11. Though delayed, a decision is expected any day now, SportzPower has been informed by industry sources close to the developments. 

Coming back to the Swiss court's ruling. Wu's position was challenged by the AIBA's executive committee, who claimed the Taiwanese had led the sport to the brink of bankruptcy.

The "rebel" executive committee had formed an interim management commitee (IMC), passing a motion of no-confidence against Wu's leadership and even tried to take charge of the AIBA headquarters in Lausanne while also moving the Swiss courts in July to approve a temporary administration, accusing Wu of financial mismanagement. 

AIBA issued the following statement Monday after winning a favourable verdict from the courts that ensures Wu's reign will continue till elections are next due: 

On Monday, 25 September, the Swiss Court of Lausanne gave its ruling on the attempts of the so-called IMC to seize control of AIBA. The Court rejected all of the IMC’s claims in full, rendering the requests made by them in Moscow in July of this year as invalid. The Court decision upholds the position of AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and executive director Mr William Louis-Marie to validly represent AIBA and to continue to work in the best interests of boxing in accordance with AIBA Statutes and Bylaws.

“AIBA has remained unified and confident that the Swiss Court would recognise the core values of integrity and transparency that the Association hold most important and that we stand for. We have always been single-minded in our determination to continue working alongside and representing our 202 National Federations and the best interests of our sport, carrying out our long-term strategic vision for its ongoing growth and success with a united family. This we are now able to do without the unwelcome interference of the so-called IMC, whose legitimacy AIBA never recognised and has now formally been deemed illegal by the Swiss Court decision rendered today,” Wu said.

AIBA will continue to focus on delivering its next major international event, the 2017 Youth Women’s World Championships in India mid-November (emphasis ours), to the highest level, while AIBA HQs proceeds with preparations for the 2018 Year of Caribbean initiative, helping support the development of boxing in a region that has suffered greatly during the recent hurricanes.

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