No World Boxing reward for renegade Nigeria

Edwin  - CEO December 2, 2023
Updated 2023/12/02 at 10:47 PM
6 Min Read
Newly elected World Boxing president Van der Vorst
Newly elected World Boxing president Van der Vorst

African Nation fails to be accorded official position in first World Boxing election


NBF president Lt. General Kenneth Minimah (rtd.)

Nigeria is among 27 countries that withdrew their membership from the International Boxing Association (IBA) to form World Boxing, joining it’s bid to guarantee boxing’s Olympic spot past next year’s Paris Games.
World Boxing elected former Dutch federation boss Boris van der Vorst as its first president late last week, without a single Nigerian considered for an administrative or committee role in the newly formed body’s governing council.
The renegade organization was floated in April after a longstanding collapse in links between the Russian-led International Boxing Association (IBA) and Olympic organizers, International Olympic Committee (IOC) .
The sport’s Olympic Games future had been threatened by the feud between the IOC and International Boxing Association (IBA) from the fall-out of the ongoing wearing down between Russia and the rest of the world over its invasion of Ukraine.
In its formative stage, World Boxing was led by an Interim Executive Board that comprised of representatives from the National Federations of Germany, Britain, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States.

The IBA, headed by Russian Umar Kremlev, is embroiled in a lengthy disagreement with the IOC which has harbored serious worries over its leadership.


A main concern of the IOC is surround the IBA’s finances as the chief source of its funding is Russian state-administered energy giant Gazprom.


Though outstandingly prosperous, giving up to $200,000 (£160,000/€180,000) for gold medals at its championships, IBA is also rocky.


World Boxing on the other hand, is floating a more unostentatious account of €900,000 (£790,000/$990,000) that is made available by a number of stakeholders.


There have been worries that World Boxing will encounter difficulty in convincing some federations of poorer nations to leave IBA because of the profitable prize money it offers.


To make matters worst, Van der Vorst particularly accused the African delegates of being bribed for the decision to wrongly prevent him from standing in the election of IBA officials which led to the election of Russia’s Kremlev. IBA called the accusations baseless.


It was therefore a surprise when Nigeria was listed among World Boxing membership in October as the nation glaringly split from remaining African nations who have stayed put with IBA.


Nigeria’s listing among World Boxing memberships came as a surprise and initially drew questions from stakeholders. The Federation’s vice president, Azania Omo-Agege, promptly denied that his body had left IBA for World Boxing.


He immediately blamed the new body of causing mischief by trying to shame Nigeria by the claims that the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) applied and was accepted as its member.


However, in a statement the next day, the NBF president Lt. General Kenneth Minimah (rtd.), said: “I wish to inform all print and electronic media and the Olympic Boxing community that the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), under my leadership, applied and joined World Boxing on October 20, 2023.


“The decision to join was also validated at a meeting of the executive board of the NBF. By the above action, please by informed that at no time did the NBF withdraw its membership of World Boxing.


“My attention has also been drawn to the unauthorized letters written to international bodies and the world press conference granted by Azania Omo-Agege (vice-president), which has caused great embarrassment to our dear country, our Ministry of Sports, our NOC and our humble selves, the NBF.


“I wish to state that Azania Omo-Agege single-handedly carried out all his actions without consultation with the board nor approval from myself the president of the federation. I did not authorize him.”


The elections determined the members of the World Boxing Executive Board, namely van der Vorst as president, Ryan O’Shea of Canada, Matt Holt of UK and Dinah Glykidas of Australia as vice presidents, Michael Muller of Germany, Vargas, Susanne Karrlander of Sweden and Marcos Candido de Brito of Brazil as members, Hernan Salvo of Argentina as Sport and Competition Committee chair, Dr. Armando Sanchez of USA as Medical and Anti-Doping Committee chair and Julie Felton of Australia as Audit and Finance Committee chair.


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