By Chetan Sharma
New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS): A week after the country's top wrestlers protested against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, professional Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat has now come out with shocking accusations against the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).
Speaking to IANS, the Haryana pugilist said that the BFI is no better than the WFI.
"I am proud of our wrestlers. They at least came out and said what they felt was wrong. Our boxing federation is no differ. The officials (of BFI) just want to click photos with those athletes who win. Only victory matters to them. They don't care about those who lose, or why they lose," said the 31-year-old, who took to professional boxing back in 2012.
"Amit Panghal was sure to win a medal at the Olympics, but unfortunately lost out in the pre-quarters. After the loss, he was mentally and physically broken, and the federation didn't feel the need to speak to him," Goyat said.
Revealing the sad affairs of state in BFI, the boxer said that the federation's only concern is to get publicity.
"Even Vikas Krishan needed help after the Tokyo Olympics. Vikas Krishan Yadav was injured and the federation did not even know the name of the hospital in which he was treated. If he had won a medal, the BFI president would have been the first to receive him at the airport and click a picture," Goyat said.
"The federation's only concern is to get publicity. This is the case with all the sports federations in India. Government should disband them all and start afresh. A rule should be implemented which states that in order to be top brass, one must have sporting achievements. make it compulsory.
They have hired a foreign coach who doesn't know anything about Indian boxing style and what our boxers need to deliver at the international level," he added.
Tokyo 2020 was seen as the Olympics where Indian boxing would shine on the global stage, much like some of the boxing powerhouses in the world. But in turn, it was a reality check for many as pugilists crumbled under pressure. If things have to improve by Paris 2024, the work needs to start now.
In 2021, Ajay Singh, also the chairman of Spicejet airlines, was re-elected the Boxing Federation of India's President, defeating Ashish Shelar in the polls.
He was first elected the President of BFI on 25 September 2016. Since then, at the Olympics, men's boxing failed to deliver medals, but women boxer Lovlina Borgohain saved the face.
There is a lot of hope from Lovlina, world champion Nikhat Zareen and other women pugilists in the upcoming tournaments. But men's boxers are struggling big time and the BFI must find the answers!