Newsletter EUBC by President Franco Falcinelli – March 2020

07 April 2020 News

Dear Boxing friends,

I sincerely hope that you and your families are doing well during this difficult period.

Of course, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament scheduled for March 13 – 24 in London was the most significant European boxing event of the month. These dates understandably raised concerns across the boxing community in Europe because of the Covid-19 spreading all over the world and in particular on our continent. The government of Argentina had already imposed protective measures that prevented the Americas qualification tournament from taking place in Buenos Aires.

The AIBA EC had moved the date of the Extraordinary Congress scheduled for March 20 in Budapest precisely because of the risk of the spread of Covid-19 around the world.

AIBA Continental Forum, scheduled in Assisi on February 29, has been timely canceled and rescheduled for the upcoming future.

Nevertheless, the IOC Boxing Task Force took a decision to proceed with the tournament in London. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed great optimism about the spread of Covid-19 in London and the IOC BTF did not seek the opinion of the National Federations, who had been preparing the athletes.

As a result of Covid-19 related complications, the event was stopped only three days after the opening.

Following a brief period of uncertainty around Tokyo 2020, the boxing community warmly greeted the decision of Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and IOC President Thomas Bach not to cancel, but to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to the summer of 2021.

With the Games set for 2021, I would like to congratulate to 16 European boxers who managed to earn quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before the suspension of the European Qualification Tournament in London.

52 kg57 kg
Bennama Billal (FRA)McGrail Peter (GBR)
Alakhverdovi Sakhil (GEO)Galos Roland (HUN)
Irvine Brendan (IRL)Kistohurry Samuel (FRA)
Escobar Gabriel (ESP)Aliyev Tayfur (AZE)
Yafai Galal (GBR)Butsenko Mykola (UKR)
Soghomonyan Koryun (ARM)Quiles Brotons Jose (ESP)
Girleanu Cosmin-Petre (ROU)Batyrgaziev Albert (RUS)
Ciftci Batuhan (TUR)Shadalov Hamsat (GER)

The interruption of the London Qualification Event, which is not foreseen by the AIBA rules, gave the IOC Task Force the power to decide, in form and in substance, the rules of such postponement.

We strongly support the decision to grant the Tokyo 2020 Olympic quotas to the boxers who are already qualified in London. At the same time, it is clear that the psycho – physical conditions of the boxers will change before this event re-starts. Many results will be different from what they could have been if the tournament had continued.

As can be seen from the statistics below, the Referees & Judges chosen by the IOC Boxing Task Force produced similar results to those recorded in all competitions under AIBA governance. Therefore, the ethical aspect of the results has been consistent since the foundation of AIBA.


Following the major scandals that took place in Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Athens 2004, Rio 2016, the IOC did not suspend AIBA, but required the adoption of technical and organizational measures, such as the introduction of the computerized scoring and increased investment in training of Referees & Judges. Unfortunately, we have not invested enough and the non-homogeneity of the results, often diametrically opposed, is the confirmation.

As reported by the representatives of the National Federations, the organizational aspects of the Qualification Tournament in London were not always up to the highest standard. EUBC Vice President and Turkish Boxing Federation President, Mr. Eyup Gozgec, was the first to highlight the lack of attention to some fundamental technical and organizational aspects. The most important regret, however, was for the failure to adopt preventive measures against Covid-19. Protective kit and masks were not provided to the participants. Social distancing has not been enforced in the slightest degree, as well as there were no hygienic-sanitary prescriptions from the organizers. Under such circumstances, the outcome could have been much worse than 10 positive Covid-19 cases!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish complete and speedy recovery to all boxers and coaches affected by Covid-19! I hope that you return to your preparations and qualify to Tokyo after this difficult experience.

The global sport is carrying out its personal struggle with the virus and here it is even more evident that the virus does not make any distinctions when choosing victims. Contagion, often asymptomatic, has reached world-famous champions, coaches and managers, physios, and doctors.

Allow me to pay a tribute to two excellent characters of the ring beaten by the sneaky opponent. Due to coronavirus, the former European heavyweight champion Angelo Rottoli and England Boxing brave coach Colin Webster left us prematurely. Our thoughts and prayers go to their families during this difficult time.

Finally, I would like to inform you that AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane recently convened a “Conference Call” with all AIBA Executive Committee members. The main topics discussed were the organization of the AIBA Congress in 2020, the revision of the 2020 AIBA and Continental Competition Calendars, as well as the discussion of the Olympic Qualification Tournaments.

  • The EC Members agreed to organize the AIBA Congress not later than October/November 2020, if the global pandemic will be overcome
  • The EUBC International Competitions are stopped until the end of July (based on the pandemic situation the European Championships will be postponed to a later date in 2020 or completely cancelled)
  • EC Members expressed hope that the postponement of Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 could provide AIBA with an opportunity to recover its recognition by the IOC and return to managing the Olympic qualification path as well as the Olympic boxing tournament, as it has been for the past 72 years.

I would like to conclude this newsletter by expressing appreciation for the wonderful images sent to us by Nenad Borovcanin, Umar Kremlev, Boris Van der Vorst and Suleyman Mikaylov.

On the right Umar Kremlev, EUBC Vice President

Boxers of Serbian Boxing Federation, Volunteer for Covid-19 emergency

Video from Boris Van der Vorst, President of Dutch Boxing Federation

Video from Suleyman Mikaylov, EC Member

Our world has already activated a process of adaptation to the dramatic situation that humanity is going through. EUBC will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our boxers, coaches, referees & judges, managers, promoters, employees, volunteers so we can serve our beloved sport and the social community without interruption. While the scale of the impact of Covid-19 is still unclear, meeting the needs of this moment will require patience, compassion, solidarity, but also creativity. Let’s stay united in this fight.

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