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  • ATR Extra: Clearing Debts Tops Kremlev's Agenda


    (ATR) After taking steps to make the Russian Boxing Federation profitable, Umar Kremlev wants to do the same for the embattled international boxing federation.

    Umar Kremlev wants to "Make AIBA Great Again". (ROC)
    On Tuesday, EU Today pronounced Kremlev the “front-runner” for the presidency of AIBA, which is being contested by six other candidates. The election will take place during a virtual congress on Dec. 12.

    In an eight-page manifesto titled “Make AIBA Great Again,” Kremlev set out his plan to help AIBA regain the status it lost when the organization was suspended by the IOC in 2019. Of course, the slogan, which is patterned after the one used by U.S. President Donald Trump, may have seemed like a better idea before Trump lost in November.

    Kremlev pledged to implement finance reform “by completely clearing AIBA’s debts and attracting additional funding through AIBA’s commercial activities for the development of national federations".

    However, his offer last year to pay off the debt, then about $16 million, to prevent suspension by the IOC was rejected. The debt is now about $20 million.

    Kremlev has two other main focuses: governance and education and technologies.

    Kremlev is first vice-president of the European Boxing Confederation. (EUBC)
    Kremlev is Secretary General of the Russian Boxing Federation, a member of the AIBA Executive Committee and first vice president of the European Boxing Confederation.

    The other candidates for president are Anas Al Otaiba of United Arab Emirates; Suleyman Mikayilov of Azerbaijan; Mohamed Moustahsane, the current leader, of Morocco; Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands; Ramie Al-Masri of Germany and Domingo Solano of Dominican Republic.

    Kremlev, 38, said that to ensure its competitions become truly global events, AIBA must achieve a high level of inclusivity. “The disparity between different continents and regions is considerable,” he wrote.

    One way to bridge that gap, Kremlev said, is through large international tournaments such as The Global Boxing Cup scheduled for Russia next year. Bouts will take place over about two months in 15 Russian cities. Kremlev said there will be up to 48 teams from all continents competing for a purse of about $2 million. The format will be a playoff competition system with direct knockouts. Some teams will be comprised of athletes from different countries within the same region.

    Kremlev also favors standardizing the AIBA competition schedule so major tournaments are spread evenly throughout the year and do not conflict with each other.

    He said it is important to use new technology, such as multi-camera filming, sensors and “a tried and tested scoring system".

    Kremlev launched the Global Boxing Forum in 2018 to exchange information.

    Kremlev plans to deliver $2 million in annual funding to the national federations. (AIBA)
    In his manifesto, he proposes building AIBA Boxing Academies on each continent, with two already announced in Panama and Fiji. He said that in Fiji this news “has awakened a booming interest in boxing…. It proves that due to this initiative we will manage to make a positive and profound impact on boxing development and its popularization all over the world” as well as develop new world-class boxers.

    He also plans to deliver $2 million in annual funding to the national federations.

    The Russian candidate stressed digitalization to “enhance the image of boxing and promote values characteristic of the boxing community such as unity, mutual respect and help".

    He also hopes to assist national federations with online broadcasts of tournaments.

    Kremlev will create three councils to advise him and promote the sport: a Veterans Council, Champions Council and Coaches Council.

    Noting that the president’s term is only two years, Kremlev said it is necessary to “develop a detailed action plan” to not only regain its former status in the IOC, but also lay the groundwork for a comprehensive strategy.

    Written by Karen Rosen

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