The International Boxing Association (AIBA) took note of the decision of the IOC Boxing Taskforce to cancel the World Qualifying Tournament and to postpone the European Qualifiers.
AIBA, as the organization that manages boxing for 75 years, has always protected and will continue to protect the interests of athletes and coaches, regardless of its Olympic status.
We respect the decision of colleagues from the IOC Taskforce; it is important for us to find boxing in the Olympic program and fulfill the Olympic dream of our athletes. However, we believe that it was possible to retain the Qualifiers.
We welcome the health care of our athletes, coaches and officials, this is also our priority in this pandemic situation. In this challenging time, AIBA strives to host as many tournaments as possible in compliance with all safety measures. Our experience and the experience of our National Federations suggest that it is possible to successfully conduct official competitions during the pandemic, and we would be ready to share this experience.
The ranking system, compiled on the basis of key tournaments of past years, does not take into account youth competitions, so young boxers born in 2001-02 will be deprived of the chance to compete at the Games and fulfill their dream. A qualification tournament would be a more objective way to qualify for the Olympics.
The situation with the division of quotas by continent is fair and democratic only in theory, however, in practice, it is not so unequivocally. All this will greatly reduce the entertainment of the Games and their value in the eyes of the fans.
The postponement of the European Qualifiers dates from April to June may negatively affect the training cycles of athletes. Boxers, who have been left in limbo for a year, will again not be able to build their training process in the best way. And this will affect the quality of the participants in the Olympic tournament, which is supposed to be composed of best of the best.
We believe that everyone should have an equal chance to prove themselves in the ring and earn the coveted ticket to key competitions. The Boxing Community is asking the IOC Taskforce to find a way to keep the dates of the European Qualifiers and not to cancel the World Qualifiers.
We would like to emphasize that AIBA is open to dialogue, ready to provide any assistance to colleagues in organizing boxing competitions. The well-being of our athletes and coaches is an absolute priority for us.