With virus scare, Abap offers to host Olympic qualifiers
Seeing the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus to Filipino boxers as well as bets from other nations in the Asia-Oceania tilt to be held in Wuhan in China next month, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) has proposed the idea of hosting the Olympic qualifiers set on Feb. 3.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino readily backed the suggestion of the local amateur boxing federation and has brought it up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Pending definitive word from the World Health Organization (WHO), we strongly recommend that the IOC take further steps to mitigate the possibility of any untoward incidents that may arise from the situation,’’ Tolentino said.
“We likewise support Abap’s suggestion to transfer the tournament to the Philippines. The POC will endeavor to assist in whatever way it can,’’ Tolentino added.
Wuhan is the center of the epidemic that has infected at least 200 Chinese who traveled in the area.
The virus has also reached Japan, Thailand and South Korea, with four people hospitalized after visiting Wuhan.
As the number of cases soar, the WHO said it would consider declaring an international public health emergency over the outbreak.
Eight boxers are penciled to try their luck in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers to seek berths to the Tokyo Olympics.
“The outbreak of a mysterious coronavirus strain is alarming and we appeal to the IOC to seriously consider transferring the venue city and the dates of the tournament,’’ Tolentino said.
“The danger posed by possible contamination is highly risky and we cannot afford to expose not only our delegation, but others as well,’’ Tolentino added.
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