PH ‘drive for Olympic glory’ intact even after IOC awards qualifier hosting rights to Jordan
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) may not have succeeded in acquiring the hosting rights for a crucial Olympic qualifying tournament but its chief backer is still fully committed to supporting the national team’s “drive for glory in the Olympics.”Telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan expressed “disappointment” that the Olympic qualifying tournament originally scheduled in Wuhan, China, was moved to Amman, Jordan, despite the country’s offer to host the event.
“We were prepared to fully support the hosting and would have mobilized all resources available toward that end,” Pangilinan said in a statement. “But there will be other opportunities and we remain steadfast in our commitment to support our boxing program with the same enthusiasm we have shown the past ten years.”
“As I committed to Abap president Ricky Vargas and secretary general Ed Picson when we first decided to tender an offer to host the Asia-Oceania qualifiers, we will continue to back our boxers’ drive for glory in the Olympics,” Pangilinan added.
The Philippines had initially raised concerns about the original schedule of the tournament, which was slated early next month in Wuhan, citing the fact that the Chinese city is ground zero of the current coronavirus outbreak. The potential health risk also prompted Abap, through Picson, to offer the country’s services as tournament host.
But in a letter signed by Morinari Watanabe, chair of the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force (IOC-BTF), Abap was informed that Jordan had won the transferred hosting rights.“After careful consideration of all the alternatives, the BTF decided to approve the proposal from the National Olympic Committee of Jordan,” Watanabe said in his letter.
The BTF is currently running boxing affairs for the Olympics after the IOC suspended the controversy-wracked international boxing federation Aiba from its roster.