Is Malta Out of the AIBA?
Last Updated on Sunday, 07 November 2010 15:01
Written by Alexander Zammit
Sunday, 07 November 2010 14:49
According to confirmed information, the Maltese Boxing Federation has informed its members that they may not compete with other members of the AIBA (International Boxing Association).
Sources close to the Malta Boxing Federation have at last broken the wall of conspiratorial silence that has surrounded the local boxing federation, since the return of federation secretary general, Marc James from the AIBA congress in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Friday morning.
During this conference Malta, along with Guinea- Bissau, Guma, Tanzania and Kiribati was invited for the ratification of its status from that of provisional member to full AIBA member. According to informed sources Malta was in fact at the top of the list for full accession to the “International Olympic Boxing Family” just hours before the MBF Secretary General Marc James, departed for Kazakhstan.
However it seems that by the time the MBF representative arrived for the conference on the 1st of November, Malta’s position and favored status within the AIBA had practically disappeared and for the third time since 1980 the credibility of Maltese boxing within the Olympic family was on the line.
Although details of what exactly happened are scarce, several local sources in Malta and the UK have informed Malta Boxing News, that they had submitted complaints to the AIBA regarding the local boxing federation to the AIBA.
According to information received at source, amongst the complainants were a number of Maltese coaches or boxers who had been promised by the local federation that they could compete in pro amateur competition outside of the AIAB and not lose their amateur status – these same athletes were later withdrawn by the MBF from taking part in a professional / amateur boxing event that was being organized by Scott Dixon promotions after being given the go ahead to take part by the same Maltese boxing federation.
Another complainant was former federation secretary general, Alexander Zammit who has informed MBN that he had submitted several items and documentation to the AIBA for closer scrutiny; however Zammit did not disclose either the nature or content of the documentation and said that at this stage he would rather not make any statements.
Yet another complaint was made from the UK by Glen Saffer who has in the recent past sponsored several Maltese boxing athletes – Saffer informed MBN that sadly he had to withdrew his support for Maltese boxers after he felt mistreated and his generosity abused by the MBF.
In a further bizarre twist of events MBN has been shown a mail issued by the MBF to the members of the their committee which states that the reason Malta was being withheld from all international competition was because leading Maltese Boxer, Haithem Laamouz had at some stage participated in professional boxing.
Lammouz when contacted denied that he had ever participated in professional boxing and said that he suspected that he was being used as a scapegoat.
Malta first joined the AIBA at the 1960 AIBA Rome congress as the Malta Boxing Association; in 1980 the Malta Boxing Federation was formed and absorbed the boxing association after receiving the blessing of both the AIBA and the local Olympic Committee. During the eighties the MBF was under the patronage of the Ministry for Work & Sports and in 1994 lost it AIBA membership for non payment of yearly dues after several warnings. The Malta Boxing Federation regained provisional AIBA membership in January of 2009. The official status of the MBF as of today is still unclear.
Photo: Top: Marc James, SG MBF.
Photo: Second: Alexander Zammit, Former SG MBF.
Photo: Glen Saffer, UK boxing coach.
Photo: Haithem Lammouz, Maltese Boxer.