India lose rights for World Boxing Championships 2021 after non-payment of hosting fees

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On Tuesday, India lost the rights to host the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championship over delay in payment of host fee, leading to a tug-of-war of blames between AIBA and BFI (Boxing Federation of India).

While AIBA blamed BFI for extended delay in payment, which was about to be paid within December 4, 2019, BFI claimed that the delay was caused due to issues regarding the account where the money was supposed to be deposited.

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“After New Delhi didn’t fulfill its obligations to pay host fee as mentioned in the Host City Agreement terms, AIBA has terminated the contract. Therefore, India would have to pay a cancellation penalty of $500000,” a statement by AIBA declared.

Giving the rights instead to Serbia, specifically the nation’s captial of Belgrade, AIBA Interim Prez Mohamed Moustahsane said: “Serbia has everything to organize a great event for athletes, coaches, officials, and, of course, for our boxing fans.”

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Interestingly, AIBA itself has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for financial corruption.

“AIBA’s account in Lausanne was frozen. AIBA intended to have some previous payments through an account in Serbia. As Serbia is in the Grey List of Financial Action Task Force (FATF countries), Indian Banks do not normally send money to Serbia. AIBA could not resolve these issues,” a statement from BFI reads.

“We have reasons to believe that the decision to change the venue of WCH-2021 was taken in haste without due consultation with BFI…the penalty that is imposed is shocking and surprising,” BFI said, “both parties are working for an amicable solution. BFI is confident that the penalty will be waived off and we will host World Championships in future.”

AIBA instead expressed pride in hosting an event in an Olympic year, trying to break away from dependency on the Olympics now that they are suspended. “It’s a big step toward our new competition system and also the financial stability of our organisation, which is going to be less and less dependent on the Olympic money,” the Interim Prez said.

The President of Serbian Boxing Federation, Nenad Borovcanin, is expectedly happy with the acquiring of the hosting rights: “After the historical tournament of 1978 in the capital city of Yugoslavia, this is the second time for our nation to be back as hosts. I strongly believe that the Serbian Boxing Federation will do a fantastic job in organising this tournament.”

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