Shillong: Boxing was nearly scrapped from the 12th South Asian Games and almost headed the basketball way but timely intervention by the AIBA appointed coordination committee saved organisers the blushes.
According to a top official, with the de-recognition of the Indian Boxing Federation and lack of clarity from the government and the Indian Olympic Association, world body AIBA was all set to derecognise the event.
Lack of clarity meant that the field lacked its sheen as Maldives did not compete in boxing, while countries like Afghanistan and Bhutan have sent a small contingent.
Such was the field that the women's 69-75kg had a field of five as the green signal had come only a month to go for the Games. With boxing being a hugely popular sport in the region it was a setback that the venue too was arranged in a haste, so much so that the ring had to be brought from Triprayar Indoor Stadium in Thrissur in Kerala where boxing was held in the 2015 National Games, a top official said.
In fact the SAI Complex infrastructure which also hosted the badminton event was not ready till the eve of the match and the Indian team had to practice elsewhere.
I don't want to blame anyone such things happen when a small place like Shillong is organising such a big event," Indian boxing chief coach GS Sandhu said.
Confirming that there was some problem, chairman of the AIBA appointed coordination committee Asit Banerjee said: "Yes, there were some issues but it was resolved by us after a meeting between AIBA and IOA."
He further said boxing could have done in a better way to promote the sport which is very popular in the region.
Infrastructure is one big benefit that the hosts get from such games but where's it created here? I wish it was held somewhere in the central part of the city. People are crazy about boxing here," Banerjee said pointing out that Shillong had produced national champion duo of Torak Kharpran and Larry Kharpran.
"Where will the future Mary Koms come from if you don't organise this in a big way," he asked referring to the SAI Complex which can host only 300 people.