During a time of uncertainty for boxing’s top amateur governing body, the AIBA is looking to change its culture and try to get to the root of a rampant judging problem.
The AIBA has been under fire in recent years due to controversial judging and officiating, mainly coming from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over the past year, there has been numerous reports of financial mismanagement that has forced a change at the top of the organization.
Tom Virgets, the executive director for the AIBA, spoke with French news outlet AFP and admitted that the organization needs a culture change and that the controversies surrounding the officiating is the fault of the AIBA.
“We are going to change the culture in AIBA. We have an issue of competence in our officiating and that’s on us,” Virgets said.
Meanwhile, the AIBA not only has to worry about its public perception, but also deal with the very real possibility of the IOC eliminating boxing from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
With a threat as serious and potentially devastating for the sport, Philippines boxing chief Ed Picson, the secretary general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, said he is worried the IOC could carry out their threat.
“I hope it doesn’t happen. The clock is ticking. The IOC seems to think that unless certain drastic measures are applied… it would be justified to pull boxing out of the Olympics,” Picson said to the AFP.
There is not timetable set in place for a verdict on boxing’s future in the 2020 Olympics, but amateur competitions all over the world are still going on, including the 2018 Asian Games, which had just concluded in Indonesia.