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Boxing: Internal strife continues at AIBA as Executive involves IOC President Thomas Bach
by Michael O'Neill
Photo credit: AIBA
September 29, 2017
     
   
   

(SEPT 29)  In an extraordinary intervention Friday, the AIBA Executive Council, led by EUBC European President Franco Falcinelli and supported by the rest of the Executive pleased with I.O.C President Bach to intervene in the ongoing dispute and warned that if urgent action was not taken then the AIBA was unlikely to be able to meet its financial obligations.

In a communique seen by WBAN and other media sources worldwide, Falcinelli and other AIBA Vice Presidents and many members of the Executive Council pleaded with the Olympic President from Germany to ‘humbly request your intervention, in protecting the financial stability of world boxing’ citing, in support of their claims that ‘The President of AIBA,Ching-Kuo Wu, has kept hidden from the Executive Committee and National Federations that auditors KPMG are unhappy with AIBA accounts and will not approve them’

They go on : ‘We fear for the financial stability of AIBA and believe the President has not been transparent with the National Federations and Executive Committee’. Thus the plea to IOC to intervene and fully investigate the organisation’s finances .

Prior to this latest salvo from the Executive Council and their Interim Management Committee (IMC), Wu has been speaking to “Inside the Games", the respected UK-based international sports journal and had this to say:

"I want to underline how regrettable this situation has been both for AIBA and for our 202 Member National Federations who have become caught up in the so-called IMC’s political maneuverings," the Taiwanese said.

"I consider it unforgivable for members of the AIBA Executive Committee to use the Hamburg 2017 World Championships and AIBA as pawns in their play for power, and I commend the work done by the staff to ensure that the tournament was a success in spite of some EC members' efforts.

"But beyond Hamburg, the so-called IMC have sullied everything that we have achieved over the past 12 months to put integrity, transparency and ethics at the forefront of everything we do for the AIBA Family”.

Wu was particularly critical of Kazim Bouzidi & Ho Kim and told “Inside the Games” that he believes that former AIBA officials Kim and Bouzidi are egging on the IMC.

Wu has claimed Kim is seeking "revenge" after his sacking over allegations of financial wrongdoing more than two years ago.

Bouzidi was re-assigned during last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro following a series of controversial judging decisions.

He later left AIBA and is now said to be working with the World Boxing Council (WBC), major critics of Wu after he launched the World Series of Boxing which paid boxers to compete for country-based franchises and changed the rules to allow professionals to compete at Rio 2016.

The WBC has recently launched an Amateur Boxing Committee, which they claim is "focused upon creating a global impact, via a wind of change".

The major question now is will Thomas Bach actually intervene in an internal boxing dispute and if not what next for the Interim Management Committee and the ever increasing number who support them according to insiders. Bear in mind also that one of Bach’s Vice Presidents is the aforementioned Ching-Kuo Wu. What cannot be denied though, albeit it inevitably will be, is that there is much support from many countries for the IMC as we saw at last week’s EUBC European Junior Championships in Bulgaria.

‘Inside the Games’ again understands, as indeed we do from our own sources, that around 31 European Nations alone at that Albena meeting agreed that change was desperately needed within the AIBA . One such comment to the UK-based sport journal came from Norwegian Boxing Federation President Odd Haktor Slåke.

"When [President] Wu was elected in 2006, he was seen as a polite, open minded man, who was an advocate for transparency," he said.

"I am disappointed that it no longer seems to be the case.

"I am very happy that the EC has made it clear what is going on.

"I am happy that the EC members are taking action to stop President Wu.

"I hope that this is sorted quickly to give boxers and the sport the reliable situation they deserve."

So now the matter is with Thomas Bach and the I.O.C. The IMC is confident though that the Extraordinary General Meeting they are seeking will eventually be granted and claim that in excess of 80 National Federations have already signified their support for such a meeting. Several others are also believed to be in favour, mainly from the Americas ,Oceana and Asia but if no agreement is reached the it is quite likely that the matter will end in the courts with the world of AIBA Boxing being the big loser, both financially and morally.

Much of course also depends on that KMPG document and how bad REALLY are AIBA finances. Are there, as is alleged, others in commercial organisations, in China and elsewhere, who would take action against Ching-Kuo Wu and the AIBA? Yet another imponderable but this could ‘run and run’ so we will keep you informed of future developments in this ongoing and truly shocking battle for power. As the old saying goes : “Watch this space”.
 

 
     
     
   
 
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