ATR First: New AIBA Interim President Possible

(ATR) Franco Falcinelli tells ATR he may give way to a new interim president of the Olympic boxing federation. Kevin Nutley reports.

(ATR) International Boxing Association interim president Franco Falcinelli says his time at the helm of the boxing federation could end this month.

"At the Extraordinary Congress we need to ferry AIBA until the ordinary congress. Maybe we can also change the interim leadership and to find other people better than me," Falcinelli tells Around the Rings in an exclusive interview following the AIBA Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting in Rome.

The two-day meeting in Rome was Falcinelli’s first as AIBA’s interim president, having taken over for former president C.K. Wu, who resigned in November. Wu originally refused an Executive Committee invitation to resign after a series of financial deals and management issues left the federation in debt for millions.

Falcinelli says the EC meeting in Rome was focused on providing a clear view of the current financial and legal status as well as setting the agenda for the Jan. 27 Extraordinary Congress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

"We have faced the review of all AIBA legal cases because you know in the last period, AIBA was involved in many conflicts and we would like to reduce the legal costs to avoid the conflicts and to reach all possible agreements between the disputes," he tells ATR.

"We have reviewed all AIBA financial aspects, as you know we are crossing not a good period regarding this issue. We hope to overcome this period of financial crisis and we are in a good way to do it."

The interim president says he believes the EC can provide a better outlook about the federation’s finances during the congress in Dubai.

As to who could potentially replace Falcinelli as the interim president until a full presidential election at the AIBA Congress in Moscow this November, Falcinelli was careful not to name anyone.

"I am sure that my friends will arrive on 27 of January [in Dubai] and we can have the possibility of another serving AIBA in this position. I will remain as a vice president [of AIBA] and the president of the European Boxing Confederation."

A new interim president and the elected president in November must come from the 22-member Executive Committee, according to AIBA statutes. Potential candidates for the job include the most senior appointed EC member Gofur Rakhimov as well as elected member and organizer of the 2017 Hamburg World Championships Jurgen Kyas, among others.

Falcinelli believes that whoever steps in to lead the federation will steward a new, positive era for the federation.

"I think that AIBA has a great future, because now we want to offer to the congress the opportunity to change the governance, to have another opportunity to re-launch Olympic boxing with important events that are on our calendar on the path to Tokyo 2020," he tells ATR.

"And we are doing all the best to rediscover new talent, new protagonists of our sport. In this case, we need to recover and regain the consideration of the media and television and also the global sport market."

Around the Rings is on the scene in Rome providing exclusive coverage of the EC meeting.

Reported and written by Kevin Nutley in Rome.

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