The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has asked for a three-month extension for its foreign coaches whose contracts were ending this month and are saying a review will be conducted after the World Championships for men and women are completed later this year.
Indian boxing has two foreign coaches in Men’s High Performance which includes: Director Santiago Nieva of Sweden and his counterpart in the women’s team Rafaelle Bergamasco from Italy. Both of them were appointed in 2017 and their contracts were supposed to expire after the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics.
BFI secretary-general Hemanta Kalita told PTI that they have sought a three-month extension for the foreign coaches as the World Championship looms nearby with the men’s taking place next month while the women’s will taken place in December and they want continuity regarding management. This decision was taken by the federation’s executive committee and Kalita said that their review of the Olympic performance is still ongoing and would take a decision regarding extension after the conclusion of the world championships. Kalita explained that this is going to take time and the preparations must not be disturbed.
A record of nine boxers qualified for the Games but only Lovolina Borgolin managed a bronze medal. Among the men’s, only Satish Kumar in the 91+ kg could reach the quarter-finals while others lost their opening bouts. BFI president has backed the players and the coaching staff and said they can’t overlook performances from the last four years as they won medals in the World Championships, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. Both of the coaches also wish to continue.
Nieva is also a member of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) committee of coaches and Vice President of the Asian Boxing Confederation’s (ASBC) committee of coaches. Kalita also informed that the Women’s National Championship will be held after the Men’s Championship. The gold medal winners of these events will qualify for the World Championships.