BFI's RK Sacheti dies from COVID, sports fraternity mourns

RK Sacheti Boxing Federation of India

NEW DELHI: RK Sacheti, executive director of the Boxing Federation of India, died on Tuesday after battling COVID-19, a demise that was mourned by administrators cutting across sports as well as the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

He was 56 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

The long-serving administrator was fighting the dreaded infection at a hospital here for the past few days and was on ventilator support, PTI reports.

"With a deep sense of sorrow & grief, we inform you that Mr. RK Sacheti, ED (BFI) left for heavenly abode today morning, creating a huge void in the sports world," the BFI said in a statement.

BFI president Ajay Singh said Sacheti was the "life and soul" of the national federation.

"Indian boxing reaching such heights in the last few years was largely his contribution. We will miss him dearly. Boxing will miss him. Indian sport will miss him.

"Rest in peace my dear friend. We will always be proud of you," Singh said.

Former BFI secretary general Jay Kowli said "sports world has lost an efficient administrator."

"Remembering all the great moments together. Many thanks for all your contribution to Boxing, RKS," Kowli said in his condolence message.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) offered condolences.

"On behalf of AIBA and the entire boxing family we would like to express most heartfelt condolences and the deepest sympathy for the mourning of Boxing Federation of India''s Executive Director Mr Raj Kumar Sacheti," AIBA stated.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also expressed his condolences, tweeting: "Our beloved RK Sacheti ji, Boxing Federation ED has lost the battle against COVID-19. He was one of the pillars who put India in the league of world''s top Boxing nations. I wish he could see our Boxers in Olympics.

"I extend my condolence to his family for the monumental loss."

Indian Olympic Association aecretary general Rajeev Mehta stated: "Deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of IOA Associate Joint Secretary, BFI Executive Director and dear friend Sri Raj Kumar Sacheti." 

Sacheti first became BFI ED in 2016 and retained the position after incumbent president Ajay Singh was re-elected in the federation elections held earlier this year.

Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla stated: "AFI family is truly saddened with the news of passing away of Mr. RK Sacheti, Asso. VP AFI, due to Covid. I have known him for over 30 years. He was part of so many major sports events in India & gave opportunity to many youngsters to work in sports industry," AFI President Adille Sumariwalla stated.