Amateur boxing’s world governing body AIBA has been plunged deeper into civil war after the beleaguered organisation filed a criminal complaint against members of its own executive committee in Switzerland.
The move comes after a Swiss court rejected a bid by members of the International Management Committee – ostensibly, those executive committee members who passed a no-confidence motion last month – to oust president Wu Ching-kuo.
The ongoing acrimony inevitably raises serious questions over AIBA’s ability to stage a successful World Championships. This year’s edition is scheduled to start in Hamburg on August 25.
In a letter to national federations, AIBA executive director William Louis-Marie writes: “(The) facts strongly indicate that the so-called IMC is working against AIBA, its mission to develop boxing in all its form, and they form a sufficient basis to file a criminal complaint.
“The only wise – and legitimate – decision that the so-called IMC could take would be to mitigate the harm already done to AIBA by withdrawing the request for provisional measures filed … in Lausanne.”
The no-confidence motion, which was dismissed as unconstitutional by Wu’s camp, triggered an imminent extraordinary congress, at which Wu’s position is set to come under renewed threat. It also led to the AIBA offices in Lausanne being closed for one week while the warring factions sought to establish which was in charge.
Although the IMC lost the latest round in the court battle, its members say it vindicated its right to continue to operate as a recognised committee, both legally and according to AIBA’s own statutes, under the auspices of the executive committee.
The IMC, chaired by AIBA vice-president Franco Falcinelli, who is named in the court documents, has accused Wu’s regime of presiding over a financial crisis which has taken it to the brink of bankruptcy, something Wu vigorously denies.
In response, AIBA officials have questioned the alleged involvement in the IMC’s campaign of two former executive directors, Ho Kim and Karim Bouzidi.
Kim was removed from his position after almost 10 years in charge in 2015, with AIBA subsequently citing financial misappropriation for the decision. Kim denied the allegations in a letter to national federations last year in which he described Wu as “the lowest form of human being”.
Kim was replaced by Bouzidi, who was “re-assigned” midway through the boxing tournament at last year’s Rio Olympics, following a series of high-profile judging controversies.
Both Kim and Bouzidi were copied in on an email from Falcinelli to AIBA staff on July 30, warning that under “no circumstances” should they take into account previous correspondence from Wu.
A further hearing in the AIBA power battle is scheduled for the Swiss courts starting on August 17, but a ruling is not expected until September.