Jeremie Besson at the battle of the World Boxing Federation: ‘The AIBA has lost everything’ | Sport region

Financial mismanagement, corrupt judging, seriously inadequate general management: it is not without reason that the IOC suspended the World Boxing Federation for amateurs. AIBA is now catching up to polish up the breached reputation. Jeremie Besson (33) has recently joined AIBA’s competition committee.

Born and raised from Eindhoven, Besson (son of a French father) started boxing in his city 24 years ago at The Golden Gloves. He became national champion twice. After his active boxing career he kept busy in boxing. Besson is the driving force behind the Eindhoven Box Cup. And he works as chairman of the Southern Netherlands district. The VDL Groep program manager is also part of the board of the Dutch boxing association NBB.

At the end of March, a letter fell on his doormat. Originating from Lausanne, where AIBA is based. The letter was signed by new President Umar Kremlev from Russia. “An honor to be selected in the competition committee”, says Besson. “As tournament director of the Box Cup you make many international contacts. And one thing leads to another. ”

The competition committee is involved in the organization of the various World Cups. She appoints officials and plans the international boxing calendar. But AIBA is still under receivership. As a result, the IOC itself, and not AIBA, will organize the boxing tournament in Tokyo. In addition, the IOC has stopped all financial support towards AIBA.

Doubtful judging

“What’s true is true,” says Besson. “Transparency, reliability: AIBA has lost it all. Take boxing in Rio. The judging was dubious, to say the least. And millions have been invested in projects like The World Series of Boxing. Without returns. We are struggling with major debts. ”

That happened under Wu Ching-kuo’s rule. Interesting detail: the Taiwanese also held a seat on the Board of Directors of the IOC. Another AIBA president, Uzbek Gafur Rakhimov, stepped down in 2019 after the U.S. Treasury Department linked him to criminal activity.

“AIBA was a matter of mostly Russian-speaking states,” says Besson. “Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. But we benefit from diversity. You can see it changing. Nowadays more and more Europeans and North Americans are taking place on the board. ”


AIBA was also reprimanded several times by the IOC last year. And the fourth AIBA president in four years, Kremlev, is closely monitored by the IOC. “Still, we are making progress,” said Besson. “For example, the president struck a big deal with Gazprom last week. This makes AIBA a lot more stable. And financial stability is one of the prerequisites for regaining Olympic status. We are going to do everything we can. ”

In that context, AIBA also wants to sit down with creditors. Besson’s new job is unpaid. “I’ve been enjoying boxing for 24 years,” he says. “Then you can sometimes give something back.”

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