NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan boxing risks facing a suspension from
international competitions, including the 2020 Olympic Games,
because of alleged government interference in the running of the
Boxing Association (AIBA) has sent a stern warning to Kenya
through its affiliate Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK)
president John Kameta, citing sports ministry interference.
Speaking in Nairobi,
Kameta said AIBA is concerned and may ban the country from all
competitions, including 2019 Olympic qualification if the
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Rashid Echesa continues to meddle
in BAK affairs.
“We have some of our
officials suspended by Echesa. Echesa selected his own officials
and went on to stage bouts in Kakamega, which split the league
down the middle. That was against the federation’s calendar of
events,” Kameta said on Monday in Nairobi.
But Echesa has since
dismissed AIBA concerns saying the global body must respect the
laws of the land, which supersedes any other in the world.
Echesa has ordered Sports Registrar Rose Wasike to make public
an audit report of BAK activities.
“It has been brought
to my attention that the autonomy of the BAK is being threatened
due to external interference by the government,” said AIBA
executive director Tom Virgets. Kameta says missing out on
Olympic qualification could be devastating for the federation’s
long term planning.
“They may ban us any
time and that will be costly to our youth plans at the Olympics
in Tokyo in 2020,” warned Kameta.
AIBA has since
instructed Kenya to stage fresh elections according to the
boxing federation’s constitution. The International Olympic
Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has warned AIBA it may be
expelled from the 2020 Olympics over grave financial and
Bach warned in a
statement that the IOC was “extremely worried” about how the
sport was run and that the IOC was prepared to make bold
decisions ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Japan. “The IOC reserves
the right to review the inclusion of [Kenyan] boxing in the
Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020,” Bach said.