The Olympic qualifying process for boxing is currently being administered by the IOC Task Force after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended for alleged administrative mismanagement and financial bungling. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has offered to host next month's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which has been cancelled in the Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of coronavirus. The qualifiers are scheduled from February 3 to 15 but the schedule has now become uncertain following the health crisis in Wuhan, which has so far claimed 17 lives and infected over 550 people. "Due to any reason, if the event is to be shifted to a different country, Boxing Federation of India would be willing to host this Asian and Oceania Qualification Event 2020," BFI President Ajay Singh stated in a letter to the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee's Task Force (Boxing) Morinari Watanabe.
"We propose to organise this event at K D Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, New Delhi, where we earlier hosted the AIBA Elite Women's World Boxing Championship in November, 2018," he added.
The Olympic qualifying process for boxing is currently being administered by the IOC Task Force after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended for alleged administrative mismanagement and financial bungling. The BFI's proposal has been backed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
"My request to you, if could consider the offer from BFI for which IOA assures IOC and you of its full support and cooperation," IOA President Narinder Batra stated in a letter to Watanbe. India, having hosted the women's World Youth Championships in 2017 and the senior women's World Championships, will host the 2021 men's showpiece.
China has suspended all public transport, including flights in and out of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus as the confirmed cases climbed to 571 mostly from the city with 17 deaths so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) which held an emergency meeting on Wednesday in Vienna to deal with the global impact of the virus has extended the talks till Thursday to decide on whether the outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), like Ebola and Swine flu.
China's Health Commission which is periodically updating the steps being taken to deal with the virus. (Image credit: IANS)
Such a declaration, if made, will be seen as an urgent call for a coordinated international response in view of fears that millions of Chinese are travelling at home and abroad for the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays starting from January 24. It said its staff in China are closely monitoring the situation.
The festival triggers biggest mass migration, clogging road, rail and air networks every year. China's Health Commission which is periodically updating the steps being taken to deal with the virus said on Thursday morning that so far a total of 571 confirmed new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths in Chinese mainland.