'Red-faced' BFI Now Runs For A Cover After Mary Kom-Nikhat 'fiasco'

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In a last minute face-saving act & passing the buck, the BFI is now trying its best to explain why & how they took a decision that had backfired & was reversed

Written By Suman Ray | Mumbai | Updated On:

In a last minute face-saving act & passing the buck, the Boxing Federation of India is now trying its best to explain why & how they took a decision that had backfired and had to be reversed later on. Republic TV is in possession of BFI secretary Jay Kolhi's explanatory note and BFI minutes of the selection meeting that clearly laid down the rules of Olympic qualification for boxing further proving how they violated their own rules to accommodate MC Mary Kom a place for Olympic Qualifier without a trial. The minutes of the BFI selection meeting held on August 22 clearly spells out the rules that only allowed the gold or silver medalist of the World Championship 2019 in women's category a direct entry to the qualifier without a trial but BFI later said all the medalist will be considered - thereby allowing bronze medalist Mary Kom to go for qualifier without meeting Nikhat Zareen who has been asking for a trial.   

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Mary Kom had infamously said "who was she (Nikhat)? I did not know her." Nikhat had replied saying the legendary Mary Kom was also a habitual verbal abuser.

BFI secretary Jay Kohli in a clarification says: Since some of you ask me regarding Marykom-Nikhat issue, this is what I had communicated to President, Advisory Committee, Selection Committee + even the SAI functionaries incl DG SAI day before y'day in a very clearcut manner & as many words:

  • To avoid the exact the situation what we are in today - I had taken a pro active initiative to organize an official BFI Joint Meeting involving Director Coaching, Selection Committee Member + Performance Directors, Head Coaches and also Mr. Kishen Narsi Chairman Advisory Committee + Mr. Sacheti - Executive Director & Mr. Vikram Bhardwaj Dy Director. A full-fledged meeting was held between all of the above and the issue of Boxers Road To Tokyo incl Selection / Trial were discussed in detail.
  • In this meeting - as an SG BFI chairing the meeting, I asked the Performance Directors, Head Coaches, Selection Committee Members namely Mr. Rajesh Bhandari and Capt Gopal Devang about their takes. It was discussed in detail and I requested them to jot down points to formulate a clear-cut policy. I further assisted them to express themselves / delve deep as well as freeze on some decision making.
  • After due diligence of checking every angle and allowing everyone to speak openly including the Executive Director, a brainstorming was done after which a specific policy was formulated - a draft which was written by me personally on the whiteboard. And once reconfirmation approval was given by all, I personally asked all if this is ok or any change was needed or will any changes be effected hereafter or they would like to stick to it as we need to intimate this to our boxers in clearcut words. 
  • I also clarified to all that proper minutes will be prepared out of this, a draft of which will be circulated to everyone including the President, get everybody’s opinion and once the minutes come to me with everyone’s approval they will go out as the Policy statement. 
  • All the above was agreed unanimously and on asking the Executive Director, he informed me that Dy Director will be preparing the minutes and sending it to me. 
  • After a week, a Policy Statement came out after making rounds of SG office in Mumbai and all parties involved including the President's office and Executive Director, Director Admin and Dy Director too.
  • And thereafter this document - which is attached herewith - was published and circulated to all the boxers by the Performance Directors, Head Coaches including the Secretary-General, sending this document to all units individually. ( also check BFI Official Groupchat of 30th August 2019 for more detailed interaction )
  • With all the above due diligence - I do not see any communication gap and like what Performance Directors, M/s Santiago Nieva and Raffaele Bergamasco openly stated in newspapers cuttings, I see no reason in not having a Selection Trial. 
  • Here it will be wrong to say who will win or who is better, but at the Selection Trials the Selection Committee members plus all the Performance Directors and Head Coaches should take the decision - that is of selecting the Best Boxer to represent our Country.
  •  Maybe it can be a good day for someone and a bad day for someone else on the Trials Day and any of them may win or lose on that day - but the Final Decision can / should be taken by the abovementioned members independently as to who is the deserving boxer.

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