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India on April 28 lost the hosting rights of the Men’s World Boxing Championships 2021 to Serbia, after the International Boxing association alleged non-payment of host fee by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).

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Meanwhile, BFI claimed that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) ‘acted in haste’, without due consultation with them.

The BFI acknowledged the delay, but blamed it on ‘procedural complications’ caused by AIBA’s failure to resolve ‘issues’ with regards to the account, in which the money was to be transferred.

The payment of what is estimated to be USD four million (roughly Rs 30 crore), was due to be made on December 2 last year.

“After New Delhi didn’t fulfill its obligations to pay host fee as mentioned in the Host City Agreement terms, AIBA has terminated the contract. Therefore, India would have to pay a cancellation penalty of USD 500,” the AIBA said in a statement.

The competition, which would have happened for the first time in the country, would now be held in the Serbian city of Belgrade.

AIBA has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for financial mismanagement.

“The AIBA account in Lausanne was frozen. AIBA intended to have some previous payments through an account in Serbia. As Serbia is in the Grey List of Financial Action Task Force (FATF countries), Indian Banks do not normally send money to Serbia. AIBA could not resolve these issues,” the BFI said in a statement to UNI.

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“We have reasons to believe that the decision to change the venue of WCH-2021 was taken in haste, without due consultation with BFI,” it added.

“Keeping in view our intent for development of boxing, having good relationship and intent to sail AIBA from the present state, we accepted allotment to another country for the best interest of AIBA, however, the penalty that is imposed is shocking and surprising.”

“We are in touch with AIBA and BFI President Ajay Singh has spoken with AIBA Interim President Mohamed Mustahsane and both parties are working for an amicable solution. BFI is confident that the penalty will be waived off and in future, we will be hosting World Championship event as we have successfully hosted in the past,” a statement from BFI said further.

India conducted the women’s World Championship in 2018 and won the hosting rights of the Asian Championships later this year, just weeks ago.

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