NEW DELHI: The Boxing Federation of Ukraine (FBU) has announced that they will boycott the Women’s and Men’s World championships in 2023 over the inclusion of Russian and Belarusian pugilists, who have been allowed to compete with national flags and anthems. The amateur women’s world championships is slated to take place from March 15-26 in New Delhi while the men’s championships will be held in Tashkent in the month of May.
“Our answer is clear: our athletes and representatives of the boxing federation of Ukraine do not perform where the representatives of the aggressor countries will perform – these are Russia and Belarus,” vice president of FBU, Oleg Ilchenko told country’s public broadcaster Suspline on Wednesday. The boxing governing body has allowed boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete with their national flags and anthems, which contravened the resolutions passed by the IOC in February and December 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine has now joined a number of countries that have already announced their decision to boycott the World Cup. The boxing federations of nine countries — USA, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Canada — have boycotted the women’s event while several have also pulled out of the men’s tournament. Ilchenko also said that the national team will boycott the 2024 Olympics if boxers from Russia or Belarus will compete there.
The IBA, led by Russian official Umar Kremlev, has revealed its own qualification system for next year’s Olympics in Paris, despite being stripped of the rights to do so by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC has already suspended recognition of the IBA in 2019 over its governance and other issues and has administered boxing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 directly and is managing the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics as well.