AIBA provisionally approve Boxing India, while IOA withhold judgement

Published 23 May 2014 | Authored by: Manali Kulkarni

This week’s Indian sports law update is divided between the governance and regulation of Indian amateur boxing, specifically the establishment of a new governing body for the sport, and Ten Sports renewing its media rights contract with the German Football Association for the Deutscher Fussball-Bund Cup.

Boxing India “provisionally” approved by the AIBA, no correspondence with the IOA

Indian boxers have not been competing under the Indian national flag since  March 20141 when the Indian Boxing Federation2 was excluded by the International Boxing Association (AIBA)3 Executive Committee for “serious violations of the AIBA Statutes and Bylaws,4”5. As of May 16, 2014, AIBA decided to provisionally approve the group called “Boxing India: Bout outside the ring”. Boxing India is led by and comprised of Mr. Sandeep Jajodia, the Chairman and Managing Director at Monnet Ispat Ltd., “primary sponsor and keen supporter of boxing”, Mr. Jay Kowli, President of Maharashtra Boxing Association, International R&J at 2012 London Olympics, Secretary, AIBA Youth Commission, and Mr. Udit Sheth, India franchise rights holder for World Series Boxing (WSB),6 an international boxing competition which allows boxers to compete on a professional level without compromising their Olympic status (as professional boxers are usually not able to simultaneously compete as professionals and represent their country at the Olympics). Boxing India is also supported by many “Indian boxing enthusiasts and achievers” who are dedicated to developing Indian boxing.7 Till a new federation is formally approved, Boxing India will represent and manage boxing in India. 

To remain in accordance with the election process outlined in Chapter 10 of the AIBA Bylaws8 regarding National Federations, AIBA has advised the provisionally approved Boxing India to “submit its plan to hold as soon as possible a General Assembly to conduct the elections for its executives which should also be approved by AIBA,”9. The new AIBA Member Federation in India will formally be “launched after these elections and will start to govern the sport of boxing in India with the full recognition of AIBA.”10

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA)11 Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta, stated that the IOA was unaware of Boxing India’s provisional appointment, and that AIBA had informed neither him nor the IOA president, N Ramachandran, of the developments.12

Failing to maintain good communication with the IOA could result in recognition problems for Boxing India. Section 29 of ‘The National Federations’ in the Olympic Charter13 states: “To be recognised by an National Olympic Committee (NOC) and accepted as a member of such NOC, a national federation must exercise a specific, real and on-going sports activity, be affiliated to an International Federation (IF) recognised by the IOC, and be governed by and comply in all aspects with both the Olympic Charter and the rules of its IF”.   Accordingly, Boxing India need the IOA’s approval - in addition to the AIBA’s recognition - to be recognized as the AIBA member federation for Indian boxing. 

As a probable result of the lack of correspondence between AIBA and IOA, the IOA has stated that it is not yet affiliated with Boxing India, and that it will wait until it is clear on Boxing India’s goals for Indian boxing before making any formal statements. According to Mehta’s statements, the IOA’s “senior members” plan to meet in Delhi in the following days to decide on how to proceed with Boxing India.14

 

Ten Sports renews media rights contract with German Football 

After recently gaining rights to Australia’s Hyundai A-league tournament15 through its contract with Football Federation of Australia (FFA),16 the Ten Sports Network,17 a division of Zee Network, continued to dominate Indian sports broadcasting with its rights to international football tournaments, by renewing its media rights contract to German football. 

With football’s apparent popularity in India, Zee Network created Ten Action,18 along with the already established Ten Sports channel, to broadcast live international football matches for Indian viewers. Ten Sports already holds media rights to UEFA Champions League and Europa League along with other major sports tournaments.19

As of May 16, 2014, the Ten Sports Network has entered a media rights agreement, renewing its contract with the German football association, Deutscher Fussball-Bund (DFB),20 for the DFB Cup. With the guidance of Infront Sports & media, “the exclusive international media rights advisor to the DFB,” Ten Sports will be broadcasting this tournament for the 2014-15 and 2017-2018 seasons. This contract grants Ten Sports “exclusive media rights for live and delayed coverage with a commitment of 11 key matches per season and a potential 19,” with a promise to provide coverage for “the Indian sub-continent including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.21

Ten Sports CEO, Rajesh Sethi, expressed his appreciation for this renewed contract for the next four years with the DFB. Sethi also explained that all matches can be watched live on “Ten Action, Ten Sports & Ten HD and also available for live streaming on tensports.com.22

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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