Coronavirus threat: AIBA postpones Congress in Budapest

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) on Wednesday postponed its annual congress in Budapest by three months to June, citing the novel coronavirus outbreak across the world.

The decision, prompted by a request from the Hungarian Boxing Federation, comes a few days after the world body cancelled the European leg of its continental forum in Italy.

“Extraordinary AIBA Congress, scheduled in Budapest on March, is postponed for three-month period because of Coronavirus outbreak. AIBA Executive Committee took this decision by e-mail vote due to the force majeure,” the AIBA said in a statement.

“AIBA National Federations are invited to attend an Extraordinary AIBA Congress on June 20th, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary,” it added.

Due to the postponement, the tenure of AIBA interim President Mohamed Moustahsane has been extended until June.

“With the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, many Governments are considering restrictive measures including cancellation of events in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus…,” said Moustahsane.

Moustahsane said the host federation felt it would have been risky to conduct the congress.

“…AIBA received a letter from the Hungarian Boxing Federation asking AIBA to postpone the AIBA Extraordinary Congress due to concerns raised by Hungarian Health Authorities with respect to the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak and the risk related to the presence at the AIBA Extraordinary Congress of delegates from countries,” he said.

The coronavirus has so far claimed over 3,000 lives and infected more than 94000 people across the world after being first detected in Wuhan, China. The countries most affected include China, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran.