The decision of the International Boxing Association (IBA) to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to participate in the Women’s World Cup that will take place from March 15 to 26, in New Delhi, India, caused 11 countries to already announce that they will not be part of the competition.
The last one to join the boycott was Norway, which will not be present with its representatives in New Delhi and will also not participate at the men’s World Cup to be held in Uzbekistan from May 1 to 14 and the European Youth Championship in Armenia, from April 23 to May 4 if conditions don’t change.
In this way, Norway joins a list that includes the United States, Great Britain, Ukraine, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland and the Czech Republic. The female boxers from these countries won nearly 50 medals at the last World Cup in Istanbul.
On the contrary, Italy will be in the World Cup with its boxers and this was confirmed by the president of the Italian Boxing Federation (FPI), Flavio D’Ambrosi: “I don’t see anything that prevents our participation, I am an employer of the federation, I have to take care of my discipline and I do it in accordance with the CONI guidelines”.
“Nobody has told me that Italy should not participate and I make technical and not political evaluations. Italian athletes should also go because their presence will prepare for the Olympic qualifiers at the end of June established and managed by the IOC in three stages, the first of which will be the European Games tournament,” D’Ambrosi recalled.
Precisely, the last conflict between the IBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) occurred because the International Association decided to create their own qualification system for Paris 2024 and the World Cup will grant places to the Games.
“This is a necessary step to protect our athletes, since the qualification process proposed by the IOC is neither acceptable nor fair. Excluding the women’s and men’s world boxing championships in New Delhi and Tashkent from qualifying for Paris 2024 is not acceptable and goes against the principles of sport and boxing,” said the IBA.
The United States was the first to raise its voice after hearing this IBA statement, pointing to an attempt to “sabotage” the Olympic Games and assured through its executive director, Mike McAtee: “USA Boxing condemns in the strongest terms this attempt by the IBA to confuse boxers around the world, knowing full well that the IBA is not associated with the International Olympic Committee or with the classification system published by the IOC.”
Already in June of last year, the IOC had removed the organization from the International Association due to “the continuous and very worrying problems of the IBA in its governance and its system of arbitration and judges”. The same thing had happened for the Tokyo Games.
Meanwhile, in September, the IOC unveiled a new system based on direct classification through regional games: the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, the European Games in Krakow, the Pacific Games in Honiara and the Asian Games in Hangzhou. All in 2023. After this continental phase of allocating places, two world ranking tournaments will be held in 2024.
“Any athlete or coach of a boycotted national federation who wants to participate in the IBA world boxing championships can register directly,” said the Association chaired by Russian Umar Kremlev and which also promised financial aid for those boxers who want to participate in the World Cup and their Federations will not allow it. Meanwhile, Norway doesn’t seem to be the last country to join the boycott.