New Delhi: Olympic medalist and India's poster boy for boxing, Vijender Singh, and India's pin-up girl Mary Kom were left "extremely disappointed" after hearing about the ban on Indian boxing federation.
"Though I don't know on what basis this has been done, but it is certainly very bad for India's sports history. It affects the morale of every sportsperson in the country," said Vijender.
With the World Championships coming up next year, apart from a few other boxing events, Vijender feels that this may jeopardise India's chances. "Our boxers have been performing well in the recent times, so I don't know what went wrong."
Even Mary Kom was upset since she felt that the major competitions come up after long and if the athletes do not get a chance to represent the country there it would be sad.
"I am very upset for that because as a player we dream of so many competitions and the major competitions come after 1-2 years," said India's lone boxer to win a medal at the London Games.
Mary was not all deflated as she also tried to sound optimistic and hoped for a quick resolution to the issue.
"If the higher authorities bring a good solution to the issue, it will be great for me and also for the young athletes," she concluded.
On being told that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has cited a possible manipulation in t he election process of Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), that allowed a special chairman's post to be incorporated for Abhay Singh Chautala after 12 years in the president's office, Vijender said that current president was elected fairly. "Abhishek Matoria was elected in proper manner," he said.
However, Vijender felt that sports persons should concentrate on their game. "A few responsible guys should take care of the running of federations, and we as athletes should concentrate on bringing laurels to the country."
Lamenting on the fact that IOC's ban may lead to India's athletes barred from representing the country at various sporting events, Vijender said it would be a big loss if that really happens. "We play for our country, and if that is taken away, we'll become like professional players," said Vijender. "Given the choice, we'd always want to represent the Indian flag."
Vijender also added that the matter should be resolved as quickly as possible. "This affects the minds of every athlete, and it's not good for India."
Receiving the second jolt after the Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the International Olympic Committee, Abhay Singh Chautala finally seemed somewhat submissive on the matter. Speaking on the suspension of the Indian boxing federation by the parent body, Chautala sounded moderate after long.
He said, "We will ask the International Boxing federation to speak with us. The AIBA can send observers and we can have re-election if need be."
He was also willing to relinquish his post as the nominated chairman of the Indian Boxing federation.
Chautala said, "If they have a problem with my post as Chairman, I'm willing to give up that post."
The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has suspended recognition of Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) with immediate effect. The Minister said the decision has been taken as the election of the IABF held on 23.09.2012 were in violation of the procedure laid down in the Sports Code.
In view of this, the entire election needs to be held afresh. The Government has to suspend the recognition of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation pending fresh elections. A notice will be sent to the IABF to confirm that they will hold fresh elections under independent supervision within a period of 15 days failing which the de-recognition will be made absolute.
Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said, "Indian sportsperson are our top priority. If Boxing Federation doesn't confirm that they will hold re-election in 15 days, we will de-recognise them."
(With PTI inputs)
Story first published on: Friday, 07 December 2012 10:58 IST