Sanabo steers clear of big funding row

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By Mesuli Zifo

The row unfolding at International Amateur Boxing Association (Aiba) hierarchy has nothing to do with the funds spent on the Year of Africa legacy project.

NURTURING TALENT: Local coaches, trainers and boxers go through the training conducted by Aiba officials during the Year of Africa programme in Mdantsane recently

This was confirmed by SA National Boxing Organisation (Sanabo) president Andile Mofu as the row at the world amateur boxing controlling body deepened.

The embattled association is going through turbulent waters with the executive committee having passed a vote of no-confidence on president Ching Kuo Wu after an annual executive meeting in Moscow last week.

An interim management committee has been put in place as the body navigates itself out of the malaise.

Among the shortcomings the executive is accusing the Taiwan-born tycoon include the mismanagement of funds with the YoA project cited as one of the irregular expenditure.

As a result of this the world amateur boxing body is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy as it owes creditors $30-million as against the $7-million it has at its disposal.

Last week the offices at Aiba headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland were closed as the row intensified. The latest debacle is another debilitating blow to the association which has been putting out fires from professional world boxing sanctioning bodies such as the WBC over its perceived encroachment into pro boxing.

Aiba is recognised as the regulator of amateur boxing by International Olympic Committee (IOC) of which Wu is the member.

Wu initiated the YoA programme to bridge the gap between African boxing and the rest of the world after the continent continued to lag behind in international amateur (now called open boxing) championships. Four African countries Togo, Congo, South Africa and Zambia were identified as the hosts of the programme accompanied by a mobile ring towed by a truck with qualification courses for coaches and officials embedded in the project.

Mdantsane was chosen as the host city in the land with the programme attracting representatives from African countries all vying to obtain star level one and two qualifications.

Aiba’s Wan-Ching Cho told Boxing Mecca that close to $350000 was set aside for the SA leg which ran for three weeks.

Now the association’s executive has reportedly flagged the expenditure as one of financial mismanagement by Wu. But Mofu denied that by benefiting from the programme SA was in the wrong.

“This programme was announced at the Aiba meeting and we raised our hands to be considered because it would go a long way of addressing the imbalances in the African boxing continent,” said Mofu.

Aiba exco has called an extraordinary congress on a date yet to be confirmed this month to debate the vote of no-confidence on Wu.

Wu has maintained he cannot be ousted by 15 executive members when he was voted into office by federations.

However Boxing Mecca is in possession of correspondence by Aiba vice-president Kelani Bayor which calls for all African federations to support the move to oust Wu.

“ The former president Wu no longer deserves the trust of all the members of the executive committee of Aiba, “ the memo reads.

“ It was attacked externally on debts contracted without our knowledge, from anywhere and could no longer be represented as such the Aiba family.

“I strongly recommend that you demonstrate your support to the Aiba interim management committee (IMC) and provide the AFBC with your comments on this subject for further details.”

-Dispatch Live

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