Mar 07, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – President of the Guyana Boxing Association and Vice President of the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Steve Ninvalle has urged AIBA President Umar Kremlev not to bow to the pressure of a minority in the governing body of boxing in the world.
Ninvalle was at the time speaking at the AIBA virtual Forum for countries on the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) held recently.
“Mr. President I would urge you not to apologise for embracing democracy. You won by an overwhelming majority through a transparent and democratic process. The majority of the national federations voted for you to lead us and there should be no apology for that,” Ninvalle said.
His comments came after Kremlev was informed by a participant at the forum that over 60 (of 204) countries did not vote for him at the AIBA presidential elections held last December and those countries are not willing to back him in his confrontations with the International Olympic Committee.
However, when contacted yesterday Ninvalle one of the leading voices in Caribbean boxing, reasoned that Kremlev is in the infant stage of his presidency and must be given a chance to govern. He labeled as unreasonable efforts to hold the president’s “feet to the fire” after less than three months.
He also warned that boxing can face a bleak future should undemocratic principles be allowed to flourish.“We are less than three months into his presidency. He has made several positive changes and yet some people are calling for his blood. Unreasonable? I think it is,” Ninvalle said.
AIBA and the IOC are enduring a strained relationship over the past two years with the latter stripping the former of organizing boxing at the upcoming Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended AIBA in June 2019 because of issues with its governance, finances and refereeing and judging.
Following his victory, Kremlev was quoted saying “the path to rebuilding AIBA is not easy. It will not happen overnight. We have to unite and work with one mission, and one mission alone: rebuilding the credibility and trust that AIBA once had in the minds of sports people worldwide and that includes, of course, restoring AIBA’s Olympic status.”
However, according to the outspoken Ninvalle, some regional leaders want to eat their cake and still have it. Ninvalle claimed that after their “preferred horse” failed to place in the election race, some persons are now supporting a call for the democratically elected Kremlev to be disqualified.
“We have people who are comfortable running around yelling unsubstantiated claims that the IOC will not work with this person or that person. Guyana took it one step further. During the run up to last year AIBA election we wrote to the IOC definitively questioning if there was a preferred candidate. The documented answer was no and that the IOC will not interfere in AIBA’s business. My humble submission is that outsiders cannot and should not be allowed to dictate, direct or instruct who must run AIBA. That is done through an internal transparent democratic process and left to the member federations of AIBA to decide who we want to govern us. Should we bow to the urgings of some of these regional administrators and potentially put our independence on the back burner, then what is next? What precedent are we setting? Am I to understand that we should all throw away our constitutions and allow others to decide for us? “The most courageous act is still the ability to think for yourself,” Ninvalle declared.
“I can say without fear of being contradicted that the majority of English speaking Caribbean nations voted for Mr. Kremlev and are happy with what he has achieved in such a short time. We are also confident that with his intelligence, strength and genuine love for this sport boxing will be made great again.”
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