England Boxing ‘very disappointed’ by IBA presidential no-vote

September 27, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing is ‘very disappointed’ that around three quarters of national federations voted that there was no need for a new presidential election at the International Boxing Association’s Extraordinary Congress, held in Yerevan, Armenia.

A total of 36 – including England Boxing – were in favour of a fresh vote between potential challenger Boris van der Vorst and current President Umar Kremlev, but 106 nations voted that no such vote was needed.

The result means that Russian Kremlev (pictured below) will continue to head the world governing body for the next four years.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned the IBA from organising the Tokyo 2020 Olympics boxing tournament and has done so again for the Paris 2024 Olympics amid concerns around governance, finance, officiating and ethical issues.

It has also not included boxing among the sports scheduled for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics and reacted to Sunday’s outcome by declaring that it was ‘extremely concerned’ that there was no election.

England Boxing’s Chief Executive Officer Jerome Pels said: “We are very disappointed by what has happened at the IBA Extraordinary Congress, share the IOC’s concerns and worry about what this could mean for the future of Olympic boxing following.

“We were supporting Boris van der Vorst and thoroughly expected to have the right to vote for him at a democratic election. We believe that he would have been the right candidate in taking the IBA forward, in fixing the governance and restoring its reputation as a world governing body.

“The fact that election was sidestepped, by voting if an election was needed in the first place, has clearly further heightened the concerns of the IOC – and justifiably so.

“Continuing with the status quo may have huge consequences for the sport and the athletes who want to compete in fair and well-managed competitions.

“England Boxing will be monitoring very carefully how the relationships between the IOC and the IBA develop. It is a must that the IBA’s number one goal is to get back in the fold of the Olympic family, and for it to be restored as the trusted authority managing the sport of boxing at the highest level, and there is not much time left to get that job done.”