Ukraine has joined the list of nations that have boycotted the Women’s Boxing World Championship scheduled to take place in Delhi from March 15 to 31, over the inclusion of Russian and Belarusian boxers, who have been allowed to compete with national flags and anthems.
According to a report by Reuters, Ukraine's boxing federation's (FBU) Vice President Oleg Ilchenko was quoted by a public broadcaster as saying that their boxers would not compete in this year's men's and women's championships, which will be held in New Delhi and Tashkent, respectively. "Our answer is clear - our athletes and representatives of the Boxing Federation of Ukraine do not compete where representatives of the aggressor countries, namely Russia and Belarus, will compete," Ilchenko said, according to the report.
Both the competitons are organised by the International Boxing Association (IBA), led by Russian Umar Kremlev. So far, United States, Britain and Ireland are among nine other nations that have boycotted the women's event. Earlier, the GB Boxing issued a statement saying that their decision to boycott reflects the "on-going concerns about the future of boxing’s place on the Olympic programme and the recent move by IBA to allow boxers from Russia and Belarus to compete under their national flags, which contravenes resolutions passed by the IOC in February and December 2022."
📰 | NEWS: Statement from GB Boxing on the forthcoming 2023 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships— GB Boxing (@gbboxing) February 14, 2023
For the full statement, click here! ⬇️https://t.co/jsLyKwA0oR pic.twitter.com/TIoymDMVT9
"GB Boxing condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has solidarity with the people, boxers, coaches and officials of Ukraine," the statement said adding that they would further review the participation at the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in May 2023.
This Friday will mark one year of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. So far, Ukraine is fiercely opposed to allowing Russians back into world sports, and especially next year's Olympics. It said that more than 220 of its athletes have been killed in the war, and hundreds of sports facilities lie in ruins. It points to precedents like the exclusion of Germany and Japan from the 1948 Olympics following World War II.
(With inputs from AP)