It was certainly not an April Fool prank played on the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) on Tuesday. The Indian pugilists woke up to a rude shock as sports ministry de-recognised the federation with immediate effect for failing to adhere to its directives.
This is the second knock-out punch for IABF after being floored by sports' world governing body (AIBA) last month.
This means that Indian pugilists will now have to wait longer to compete under the Tri-colour at international events. And with Commonwealth Games and Asian Games slated later this year, it could be an embarrassment for the Indian contingent if steps are not taken by the IABF to hold elections as early as possible.
"The matter has been considered in totality and keeping in view all relevant facts including the fact that the international federation of the boxing has withdrawn its recognition to IABF, it has been decided to withdraw the recognition granted by government of India to IABF with immediate effect," a ministry release stated.
In December 2012 the sports ministry had decided to provisionally suspend the IABF till it holds fresh elections by amending the constitution in accordance with the National Sports Code.
"Govt had provisionally suspended the IABF in 2012 after the AIBA suspended the Indian federation. Though, IOA (Indian Olympic Association) suspension, meanwhile, was lifted by the parent international body but IABF did nothing since then to get the suspension lifted. Now keeping all the developments in mind, especially recent AIBA step to completely suspend IABF from its membership, the Sports Ministry also decided to withdraw the recognition," Sports Authority of India (SAI) secretary Neeraj Kansal told dna.
In the last election, held in September 2012, incumbent president Abhay Singh Chautala was nominated chairman and his brother-in-law and Rajasthan MLA Abhishek Matoria was made president.
"IABF was directed to annul their elections held on 23.9.2013 and communicate its decision of holding fresh elections by following the provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 under the supervision of an independent Returning Officer. However, neither the directions of the ministry nor those of the AIBA have so far been complied with by IABF nor fresh elections have been held," the ministry letter further stated on Tuesday.