India participation at Dubai Asian Boxing Championships unlikely

India’s participation in this month’s Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai looks doubtful as its 20-member team has not yet issued visas to travel, the Boxing Federation of India secretary said on Monday.

The competition is scheduled to start on May 21. The India team includes 10 male and 10 female boxers.

“The Indian men and women’s boxing teams haven’t got visas to travel to Dubai. We are, however, trying our level best to send the teams,” BFI secretary Hemanta Kalita said.

Originally, New Delhi was to host the continental competition, but last month the Asian Boxing Confederation shifted the tournament to Dubai because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in India.

With the COVID-19 crisis deepening in India it is unlikely the BFI will even send its staff to officiate in the Asian meet.

“Since we were co-host it was planned to send officials to Dubai, but not now. The situation is scary and I doubt any Indian official would like to go,” said Kalita.

The men’s team is training in Patiala’s National Institute of Sports while the women’s camp started on May 5 at Army Sports Institute in Pune.

The BFI had shortlisted 10 elite women boxers for the Pune camp, but only five had joined until a few days ago.

Nine boxers, including four women, have qualified for the Olympic Games, scheduled to begin on July 23 in Tokyo.

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