New Delhi: Upset with Indian Amateur Boxing Federation's (IABF) reluctance to call for fresh elections and settle its ongoing dispute with International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), the government is likely to intervene and run the sport through a committee to be set up by the sports ministry.
According to highly placed sources, the sports ministry is planning to appoint an administrator in the IABF after getting the necessary clearance from the registrar of societies. While the director general, Sports Authority of India (SAI), would be the administrator, the move will leave the current set of boxing officials, led by Abhay Chautala, powerless.
The development could also be a huge setback for Chautala, currently the president of the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA). His detractors would definitely raise questions about his eligibility to represent the boxing federation in the IOA. "Since the IABF was suspended by AIBA and the sports ministry, they have done nothing so far to hold fresh elections," a senior sports ministry official told The Telegraph.
IABF was suspended by AIBA and sports ministry on charges of alleged manipulations in its elections in Patiala on September 23. Several members of the boxing community complained to ministry and AIBA saying the group led by Chautala did not allow the elections to be "free and fair".
The ministry move is unlikely to be rejected by AIBA as the parent body in Switzerland has already expressed their desire to hold talks with the government to break the impasse.
In a letter written on December 24 last to a senior IABF official, the AIBA director of external affairs, Patricia Steulet, said: "Kindly note that from now on, and due to the suspension of the IABF, AIBA will no longer communicate with you or any office bearer of the IABF. All matters will be dealt with directly with the Indian Ministry of Sports."