NEWSLETTER by EUBC President Franco Falcinelli February 2021

16 February 2021 Featured / News

IOC TASK FORCE Restructures the Olympic Qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020

On February 15, IOC Task Force, which replaces AIBA in the organization of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games issued the “Qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020 remaining parts restructure”.

Apart from the postponement of the European Qualification Tournament launched in London in 2020 to June 2021, the most disappointing news for those, who considered participation in Olympic Games 2020, became the selection process that rewards the best athletes in the Olympic year.

Reliance on the old ranking system (which ranking system?), after a year of absolute international inactivity, does not seem adequate to the expectations of many good athletes who put ones’ hopes on the World Championships in Paris, which have been cancelled.

As EUBC we have no role in organizing the Continental Qualification process, but we are still the institution that represents 50 Sports Federations and therefore in the next EUBC EC meeting this hot issue will have to be carefully discussed.

I believe it is important and necessary, before analyzing the February report, to announce AIBA European Boxing Forum and to invite all the National Federations to participate. Following the letter from AIBA President Umar Kremlev to all National Federations dated 1 February, the online Forum will be held on 27 February in Rome. Alongside with AIBA President Umar Kremlev among authoritative speakers are ASOIF President and Member of the IOC Francesco Ricci Bitti,  Director of the Central School of Sports Rosanna Ciuffetti and Yury Zaytsev, Mikhail Prokopets and Svetlana Ponkratova.

We want to share the objectives of the Forums of President Kremlev:

 “The Continental Forums want to achieve some important objectives to initiate a concrete and effective renewal of AIBA. Even if in virtual form we want to start an effective and unitary dialogue between the National Federations to face and solve internal problems and bilateral relations; discuss AIBA reforms to produce managerial improvements and adjustments: jointly promote a European boxing development plan to improve performance at international and Olympic level.

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It is our duty to pay tribute to a great champion who left us prematurely, Leon Spinks. He become Olympic Champion at the 1976 Montreal Games, beating Cuban Sixto Soria in the final. At the age of 24 he managed to snatch the title from Muhammad Ali in February 1978 in 15 rounds. He had managed to beat the “Greatest” but lost in a fight with a terrible disease at the age of 67.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 pandemic situation is still developing and the whole world is overcoming moral, social and economic consequences.

Rapidly changing realities of life influenced significantly lifestyles of the young, adults and the elderly. Depression, anxiety and stress caused by fear of contamination have dramatically undermined the quality of life.

Uncertainty in educational, professional and economic spheres not only triggered serious psychological distress but also led to rejection of preventive rules imposed by health institutions.

Limited social interaction at educational institutions and at sport sphere in particular resulted in notable demotivation, hopefully temporary, but still rather significant to cause disruption in achievements system.       

And, therefore, we must express our deepest gratitude to our Boxing Clubs, National Federations who with strong determination at this time have given an opportunity to athletes to train and even to compete.

Special thanks to Tibor Kinces for coverage of the 2020 boxing events that took place around the world.

Europe once again showed strength, courage and outstanding professionalism in a challenge with Covid-19. In terms of statistics, in 2020 European Continent hosted 29 International boxing events representing 76 per cent of the total number of events in the World.

I do hope that also in 2021 organizational activity in Europe will confirm this important trend and as a good start January has already seen two international events:

  • 10th Nations Cup, Sombor, Serbia;
  • Int. Boxing Tournament in memory of honoured coach of the Republic of Belarus A. Kolchin, Orsha,Belarus.

This period is also characterized by many sport solidarity events. Among which, in January the National Training Centre of Assisi hosted a training camp organized by Italian Boxing Federation for women teams of Italy and Croatia, invited after the earthquake in Croatia.

Regarding the planned EUBC events, the EUBC Executive Committee Meeting is scheduled on 20 February with purpose to examine some important organizational issues and to discuss EUBC Constitution in accordance with new AIBA Statutes.

We are delighted to inform that the organisation of Youth European Boxing Championships was assigned to Montenegro, Budva. At an early date, European Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Championships will also get reassignment after the withdrawal of Ireland.

Concerning the European Olympic Qualification Tournament, we are waiting the indications of the IOC Task Force for the assignment of a new venue. The IOC Task Force should also redefine the entire organizational process as it decided to continue with the same athletes present in London more than a year ago. There will be defections due to category changes or abandonments and therefore we must expect an inevitable change in the technical values ​​compared to the conditions of London 2020.

In any case, we are confident that the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament can select a European representative worthy of her glorious tradition for Tokyo 2021.

I am also happy to announce that at the European Games 2023 in Krakow, Boxing will be one of the most popular sports for Polish organizers and the EOC.

We will ask AIBA and the IOC to consider the European Games of 2023 valid for the European Qualifiers at the Paris 2024 Games, thus avoiding repeating the same competition to assign the Olympic pass.

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