Boxing Ready to Expel Rio Referees -- Federation Focus

(ATR) Also: FIFA website struggles with World Cup ticket sales; Fencing grand prix in USA; Croatia newest floorball member

(ATR) The executive committee of Olympic boxing federation AIBA is said to be ready to take action against the 36 referees and judges suspended at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The officials were suspended pending an investigation by the federation over allegations of match fixing at the Olympics.

The AIBA Referees and Judges Commission met earlier this month and reportedly endorsed the expulsion of all 36 officials from Rio who are suspended. The recommendation now goes to the ruling Executive Committee.

Expulsion of the officials would be a tacit admission of problems with the results in Rio de Janeiro.

The federation is under pressure by the IOC on several fronts, including governance, drug testing and finance, along with concern over the Rio judging. AIBA has a deadline of April 30 to submit a report to the IOC addressing the concerns. The IOC is threatening to cut boxing from the program of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo unless changes are made.

FIFA Website Can't Handle Demand for World Cup Tickets

FIFA has announced that in the first 24 hours of its new sales window, an additional 356,700 tickets for the Russia World Cup have been allocated to fans around the world.

This new process has not been trouble-free though. FIFA had to apologize on Tuesday after its website failed to cope with the high demand for purchasing tickets.

In fact, fans around the globe spent hours waiting to get into the FIFA site after sales reopened Tuesday morning. Others complained they had paid for tickets but didn't get any confirmation the tickets were reserved.

FIFA posted on Twitter "We are really sorry that problems have been persisting. We've been informed that the issues relate to the sheer volume of fans accessing the ticketing platform."

The new process of tickets sales is based on a " first-come, first-served" system and will be open through April 3. Until now most World Cup tickets had been issued by a lottery system.

According to world football’s governing body, most tickets allocated on Tuesday went to Russian fans (197,036).

Internationally, fans from USA purchased the highest amount of tickets (14,845) followed by Argentina (14,564), Colombia (13,994), Mexico (13,505), Brazil (9,691), Peru (9,493), Australia (5,500), Germany (5,476), China (5,459) and India (4,166).

Olympic and World Champion Fencers in California

The best men’s and women’s fencers in the world are at the Anaheim Convention Center this week.

The three-day Absolute Fencing Gear® FIE Grand Prix Anaheim will feature more than 300 athletes from 46 nations.

The field includes five of the six individual foil medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games and seven of the eight individual medalists from the 2017 Senior World Championships.

Rio 2016 champions Inna Deriglazova of Russia and Daniele Garozzo of Italy are among the headliners.

The tournament begins on Friday with the men's preliminary rounds. The women's preliminary rounds will be held on Saturday with the table of 64 and finals sessions taking place on Sunday.

Croatia is Newest IFF member

The International Floorball federation (IFF) is welcoming Croatia into the fold.

The IFF approved the Croatian Floorball Federation as its 68th member during the first IFF central board meeting in Amsterdam last weekend. Though Croatia is still a provisional member, the country says it is willing to begin organizing IFF events this year.

The IFF also says it has handed in an application for floorball to be included in The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. The federation will also present a proposal for ParaFloorball at the event.

The meeting in Amsterdam also included a decision that the first development seminar of the year will be in Ukraine in mid-May and will feature coaching and refereeing blocks. A specific coaching seminar is planned for Singapore in June while the second ever development seminar in Africa is expected to be held in Cote D’Ivoire in either August or September.

Written by Ed Hula, Javier Monne and Gerard Farek