Moustahsane resigns as interim president of International Boxing Association

  • 17:10 07 August 2019

Moustahsane resigns as interim president of International Boxing Association

Mohamed Moustahsane has resigned as Interim President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after less than six months in the role, marking the latest episode in the crisis at the embattled organisation, ONA reports citing

Mr. Moustahsane, who took temporary charge of AIBA in March after Gafur Rakhimov stepped aside, informed the Executive Committee of his decision today. Moustahsane has stepped down for family reasons, two officials with knowledge of the situation have told insidethegames. His replacement has not yet been named, although it is likely it will be one of the four remaining vice-presidents under AIBA's statutes.

The African Boxing Confederation head's resignation means AIBA, suspended as the Olympic governing body for the sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in June because of severe concerns with its governance, finances and refereeing and judging, is searching for its third President in nine months.

Rakhimov, whose election in November triggered the IOC inquiry into AIBA which resulted in the federation being stripped of involvement in the boxing event at Tokyo 2020, tabled his formal resignation last month. The 67-year-old, who remains on a United States Treasury Department sanctions list as one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals, had stepped aside in March amid pressure from the IOC.

Moustahsane was elected on an interim basis on March 29 after he was the only candidate. The Moroccan doctor was among the officials criticised in the report by the IOC Inquiry Committee as he was head of the Draw Commission for the boxing tournament at Rio 2016, marred by a corruption scandal which prompted AIBA to suspend all 36 referees and judges who officiated at the Games.

The latest development deepens the crisis at AIBA prior to the governing body holding an Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne in November, where a permanent replacement for Rakhimov is due to be elected. AIBA executive director Tom Virgets told insidethegames the election could be postponed, however, while the staging of the Congress remains in doubt owing to the organisation's perilous financial situation.

Executive Committee members are pushing for a delay to the election and want the Congress to be convened to change the statutes to pave the way for the vote to be held at a separate meeting next year.

Others claim this would be difficult because of AIBA's finances and believe the body should proceed with the November 15 date. The topic was the main item on the agenda at a conference call of the Executive Committee yesterday, which was abandoned due to technical issues. A circular vote of the members is underway to organise an in-person Extraordinary meeting, which is likely to take place in Europe and where a decision will be taken on the Congress.

The Executive Committee will also be tasked with appointing Moustahsane's successor following his sudden resignation. His replacement is set to be one of the four vice-presidents, who are also the President of their respective confederation. Argentina's Osvaldo Bisbal, Anas Al Otaiba of the United Arab Emirates, Italian Franco Falcinelli and Australia's Edgar Tanner are those who can be chosen as per AIBA's statutes. It is not yet clear who will be willing to take over as none of the four stepped forward to assume the Interim Presidency after Rakhimov stepped aside.