New Delhi: The International Boxing Association has allowed India's youth pugilists to compete in a tournament in Azerbaijan but has barred the officials from accompanying the boys, insisting that it does not recognise the Secretary General or any other office-bearer of the suspended federation.
The Boxing Federation of Azerbaijan has invited India for the 'A Agalarov International Youth Cup', scheduled to be held at Baku from December 19 to 24.
The suspended Indian Amateur Boxing Federation's Secretary General Rajesh Bhandari sought AIBA's permission for the boxers' participation but the world body chose to revert to the IABF that was in office before the September elections.
"Please instruct below person to stop communicating with AIBA. He is not recognise(d) as the Secretary General of IABF and therefore, we will not communicate with him," AIBA's Director of External Relations, Patricia Steulet, said in a curt mail, referring to Bhandari.
"Boxers and coaches may participate to this event but NO OFFICIAL whatsoever," stated the response, making it clear that the world body would not communicate with the current office-bearers.
The IABF was provisionally suspended by AIBA due to the International Olympic Committee's ban on the Indian Olympic Association and "possible manipulation" in the elections.
For the suspension to be lifted, the IABF has been instructed to amend its constitution to make it compliant with the AIBA statute and hold re-elections in the presence of an AIBA observer.
The AIBA has shunned the new IABF, which is headed by Rajasthan BJP MLA Abhishek Matoria as President, and has not responded to their mails, seeking clarifications on the constitutional amendments and the proposed re-elections.
The AIBA has been insisting on dealing with old IABF, which had Abhay Singh Chautala as President and Brig. P K Muralidharan Raja as Secretary General as it has suspended the new federation.
The AIBA is only responding to the mails sent by Brig. Raja, who is currently a senior vice-president. Chautala, on the other hand, was made nominated chairman after a constitutional amendment during the elections.
"The AIBA is just not responding to the mails sent by the new Secretary General (Rajesh Bhandari). It's a peculiar situation because we have to seek clarifications and coordinate things with AIBA to hold the re-election and amend the constitution," an IABF official said.