'Dysfunction' | 

Government to cut boxing funding in 2023 if IABA fails to reform

IABA members overwhelmingly voted against a proposal to expand the Board of Directors and change the way it is appointed at an emergency general meeting in Co Roscommon yesterday.
Minister for Sport Jack Chambers

Minister for Sport Jack Chambers© PA

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Minister for Sport Jack Chambers has said that almost all state funding for boxing will be cut by next year unless the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) agree to “sensible and practical reforms”.

IABA members overwhelmingly voted against a proposal to expand the Board of Directors and change the way it is appointed at an emergency general meeting in Co Roscommon yesterday.

The Minister had indicated that funding to the IABA would be immediately slashed by 15 per cent unless club delegates chose to back the proposal.

These sanctions will be implemented this week, with the Government giving the IABA a further two months to reform before funding is cut entirely.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister Chambers said: “We have to set basic standards in sport. We're giving two months for the IABA board to come back with positive steps on how they propose to reform and bring governance.

“If we don't receive that by the middle of September, Sport Ireland will be communicating to the IABA that there will be an escalation of the current position, and in 2023 if there's no reform there will be no funding at all.

“If there's no reform we cannot continue to fund IABA in its current governance structure. I'm being very clear to those who run IABA that they need to embrace the basic levels of reform. The proposed reforms are very practical and basic. We cannot have the ongoing dysfunction.”

Minister Chambers said that Irish boxers in the High Performance Unit who are training for the Paris 2024 qualifiers will be protected from the budget cuts.

"We cannot continue with the status quo. We need to speaking about supporting and building grassroots boxing right through to High Performance.

"I want to support them. The members themselves have decided to follow through with this. It's a marginal cut in funding, 15 percent, and it is a crisis of their own making as an organisation.

“They have a clear choice of getting the threshold of funding they were allocated but even more this year, above and beyond what they got last year, if they embrace reform.

"Now is a time for the IABA to reflect themselves on why they rejected their own recommendations. With every decision comes a consequence. That is why I was very clear and it was important that there will be consequences."


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