There was high drama before the women’s boxing finals in the 12th South Asian Games today after AIBA-appointed ad-hoc committee officials threatened to pull out claiming “delay in payment” by the organising committee here.
The bouts were delayed by 40 minutes after officials claimed that they have not been paid their allowance while the organisers insisted that they were being blackmailed for higher payment.
“They were trying to blackmail us to increase the daily allowance for the ITOs (technical officials). We had fixed it at USD 50 per day but they wanted more and pressurised us, this being the last day. Thankfully good sense prevailed on both sides and the matter was resolved,” R K Sharma, CEO- Shillong Organising Committee said.
Boxing in India is being administered by an ad-hoc committee of the International Boxing Association (AIBA, which is conducting the sport in the regional mega-event.
On the concluding day, the officials, including judges and technical officials numbering about 14, refused to turn up citing “payment issues”.
Frantic calls to “settle the money” were made openly in the boxing arena in presence of Indian Olympic Association joint-secretary Rakesh Gupta.
Refusing to comment, Gupta said: “There’s no problem at all. The bouts will begin soon.”
The excited crowd which had turned up remained clueless to the messy state of affairs as the announcer blamed the delay on the VVIPs lined up for the concluding day.
“We apologise the delay. We are expecting the CM and other VVIPs so is the delay. It should start by 11.45,” said the announcer to pacify the anxious crowd.
The women’s final bouts, which were slated at 11 am, finally began after a 40-minute delay with a rousing reception for MC Mary Kom in the 51kg category.