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By Neto Baptiste

Antigua and Barbuda was reported amongst four boxing associations initially barred from voting in the recently held International Boxing Association (AIBA) electoral congress held virtually on Saturday but then had that decision reversed after reportedly rectifying the issue with AIBA’s hierarchy.

Antigua and Barbuda reportedly had their voting privilege revoked following accusations they had owed outstanding fees to the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) but later produced a receipt for the period in question.

The country, despite having their voting rights reinstated, however decided to abstain from voting in protest with other association over what they believe was the unfair treatment meted out to some associations and presidential candidates.

President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) and a former AIBA vice president, Steve Ninvalle, confirmed the reports but said he is not aware as to the reasons why the associations, including Antigua, were barred from initially.

“There were still maybe four of those countries that were not given their voting credentials and of the four Antigua is one and I think the Bahamas, Dominica and Anguilla were also not given their voting credentials so they were not allowed to vote. I don’t know if someone is dabbling in semantics but I know there were four countries that were not allowed to vote, that is what I know,” he said.

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Boxing Association, Len Mussington, refused to with Observer media on the issue when contacted.

The latest issue follows last month’s accusation by AIBA’s Ethics and Disciplinary Committee that nine associations, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Maarten, The Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Haiti and Suriname allegedly had their annual AIBA fees recently paid by the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation ahead of AIBA’s electoral congress.

The associations have since been cleared of any wrongdoing by AIBA Disciplinary Commission.

Russian boxing administrator, Umar Kremlev, was elected president of AIBA during Saturday’s congress.

Ninvalle believes Kremlev is the right man for the job.

“If you ask me of my personal opinion, I think the better person won and the person who can do for boxing in the Caribbean and in the world has won. I personally applaud that and I think he will do excellent for boxing. It’s a new era in boxing in the Caribbean, there is a new era in boxing in the world and the thing you could have gotten away with before, you will not be able to get away with now,” he said.

Kremlev reportedly announced plans to provide annual funding of $2 million to AIBA’s national federations and to set up boxing academies on each continent to train athletes, coaches, referees and judges.