NEW DELHI: India will host the Asian Boxing Championships for men and women in November-December this year, the national federation revealed on Monday, expressing confidence that the COVID-19 pandemic will be well and truly under control by that time.
India last hosted the men’s Asian meet back in 1980 in Mumbai, while it conducted the women’s event in 2003 in Hisar. The tournament became a combined event for men and women last year.
“We were awarded the hosting rights in February after a meeting of the Asian Boxing Confederation. The tournament will be held in November-December and the host city will be finalised after things normalise,” Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) executive director RK Sacheti told PTI.
“It is an extraordinary situation no doubt but we are all hoping for this to be brought under control by June. Then another three-four months will go into resuming normal activities,” he said.
While the verdict is still out on that one, it is worth noting that at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has made it tough for National Sports Federations (NSFs) to host international events, the Sports Ministry has promised an increased financial assistance for bringing in international tournaments in India.
The ministry, during its meeting with NSFs last week, directed them to host more tournaments in India to prepare for 2024 and 2028 Olympics, Hindustan Times reports. The NSFs have been asked to include international tournaments they plan to host in their Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC). The federations have been pushing for more financial support from the government in hosting international events for some time now.
Currently NSFs get financial assistance of Rs 3 million for hosting major international competitions. In case of tour-level and invitational event the assistance is somewhere between Rs 1-1.5 million. The amount is likely to go up significantly as the ministry is looking to earmark a big chunk of its ACTC budget for international events, according to HT.
Sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told the daily that the government is “consistent in its stand of hosting more international events in India”.
“The funding is for international events. We want more and more events in India for better exposure. The same amount which goes for Indian athletes exposure outside, larger number of athletes will benefit from the same amount in India,” Julaniya told HT.
“We had discussions with the 14 priority sports (federations) identified for 2024 and 2028 Olympics. We have asked NSFs what are the events they plan to host in India. We will provide (financial help) whatever is justified. Things will be finalised in ACTC meeting,” he added.
The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has plans to bid for 2024 World Team Championships which will cost around Rs 200 million. “Hosting a tournament will be difficult under the circumstances. However we will go for it (bid). The government has taken a positive step. Earlier government funding was limited but now we have been assured that more assistance will be provided and it is good that it will be cleared under ACTC,” TTFI secretary general MP Singh told HT.
BFI, which has submitted expression of interest to host Asian Championships towards the end of this year, also welcomed the move. “It will be a big boost towards hosting the Asian elite men’s and women’s championships. Also, it will encourage us to host more events in India. In the India Open that we host every year, we are fielding four to five Indian teams and provide exposure to so many of our boxers,” Sacheti was quoted as stating.
These developments come in the backdrop of the All India Football Federation submitting its bid documents for hosting the AFC Asian Cup in 2027.
AIFF submits bid to host AFC Asian Cup 2027