International Boxing Association (AIBA) Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane has been accused of putting the organisation’s future in further danger by agreeing to work more closely with one of the main professional bodies in the sport.
AIBA Executive Committee member Eyüp Gözgeç said a possible partnership with the World Boxing Association (WBA) could “perhaps fully end AIBA as an association once and for all”.
In a scathing letter to the Interim President, seen by insidethegames, the Turkish Boxing Federation head also claims Moustahsane was part of group which “orchestrated the end of AIBA with the manipulations that started in 2016 and the scheme you all designed in Moscow to push [former President CK] Mr Wu out of AIBA”.
Gözgeç believes an attempt to closer align with the WBA is financially motivated and that Moustahsane was “dragging AIBA into this adventure to find a tenuous reason for your excuse to find the money for AIBA, where it is crystal clear that this decision will open up new business opportunities for some people”.
Moustahsane dismissed the allegations made by Gözgec, claiming his letter was “full of inaccuracies” and that working with the WBA “has absolutely nothing to do with the resignation of former president CK Wu, the election by the Congress of Mr Rakhimov in November 2018 and the decision issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend AIBA”.
The Moroccan, who will continue as Interim President until elections take place in December, told insidethegames in a statement that there are “no personal interests” in the cooperation with the WBA.
AIBA and the WBA announced earlier this month that they had agreed to work together to make improvements in boxing in three areas – development, competition, and ethics.
Moustahsane said it is designed “to make a path for amateur boxers for their further development and the prolongation of their career in professional boxing”, but some within the Executive Committee have criticised the move.
Gözgeç has been leading the opposition and threatened potential legal action if AIBA continues in its current direction.
“While you should be working towards overcoming all these negative situations and obstacles, we are witnessing this new adventure you are dragging AIBA into, to perhaps fully end AIBA as an association once and for all,” he wrote.
“As you are well aware, organisations such as the WBA, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation have not been recognised by the IOC for decades.
“I wholeheartedly hope that your action will not lead to the sport of boxing [being] completely taken out of the Olympic Games.
“History will write my worries and reservations over this decision one day as this new trajectory you are following will lead AIBA to its end while only serving for the benefit of the few, who do not care about the sport of boxing.”
In a letter in response to Gözgec, Moustahsane said he “respectfully disagrees with you that, by initiating talks with the WBA, AIBA would prejudice its position towards the IOC”.
He also rejected any claims of ulterior motives in the relationship between AIBA and the WBA.
“There are no personal interests in the cooperation either.
“The goal is to make a path for amateur boxers for their further development and the prolongation of their career in professional boxing.
“The idea is to create the system where each athlete would feel secure and would realise his options in each moment of the career.
“In each moment of their career, boxers should not feel uncertainty.
“They will know we are still supporting them.
“A joint working group will work on the main development pillars that has been defined – development, competition and ethics.
“We are discussing to build [a] new healthy and ethically correct system.
“Our members would only benefit from it.
“AIBA will continue to reform its organisation with its priority to comply and stay within the Olympic Movement.
“AIBA must not only support the athletes in their Olympic dream, but also provide the best overall environment for all its other members.”