(ATR) Franco Falcinelli is resigning as the interim president of the International Boxing Association.
Falcinelli made the announcement after an impassioned report to the AIBA Extraordinary Congress taking place today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He detailed the transgressions of the past administration of C.K. Wu before hitting out at the International Olympic Committee for trying to cut the number of men's boxing weight classes in the Olympics.
"This recurring threat to exclude boxing from the Olympic program offends our glorious Olympic history, our tradition of a popular sport spread all over the world," Falcinelli exclaimed, drawing strong applause from the 200+ delegates.
"Due to the incomparable social, cultural and political heritage, nobody has the right to expel Boxing from the Olympic Movement!"
The defiant message was delivered with IOC sport director Kit McConnell listening from the front row. The IOC has demanded a report on AIBA issues by Jan. 30 that will be used to consider boxing on the program for the 2020 Olympics.
Once his report was finished, Falcinelli shifted to a bittersweet tone to announce his resignation at the end of today's congress.
"I have had the honor to lead AIBA for the last few months but it was my commitment and moral duty which I felt I have honored to our sport which i dedicate my life to boxing for 58 great years," he said with a hint of sadness in his voice.
"However, i will like to take a temporary break of serving AIBA by resigning the post of AIBA presidency at the conclusion of this congress and dedicate more time for my family."
Falcinelli received a standing ovation from 109 National Federations in attendance.
After serving the federation as the interim president for seven months, ATR is told that Falcinelli wanted to decrease his role – and by extension his stress – within AIBA and return to solely being President of the European Boxing Confederation and an AIBA vice president until the Moscow congress.
Falcinelli intimated this to ATR during last week’s Extraordinary EC meeting in Rome. He added that he will not be running in the presidential election that is expected to begin at the end of July.
"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," he said after the conclusion of the two-day meeting in Rome.
As interim president, Falcinelli has overseen the transition of the federation since former president Wu’s resignation on Nov. 20. However, he was instrumental in the process to depose the president that began at a July 2017 EC meeting in Moscow when it became clear the federation was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of bad financial deals and outstanding loans.
The full process for the November election will begin to be determined during today’s congress. Current rules dictate that AIBA’s National Federations must know the presidential candidates at least 70-days before an election can be held. The list of candidates will likely be distributed after AIBA’s EC meeting this July.
Statute changes regarding a presidential resignation, the order of succession and the powers of the president are now being detailed to the delegates for approval later today in Dubai.
Around the Rings is on the scene covering the Extraordinary Congress.
Written by Kevin Nutley in Dubai, UAE.
Travel and accommodations provided by AIBA.
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