Azania Omo-Agege: “Our elections must take place in Africa”

The Interim President of the Africa Boxing Confederation (AFBC) Azania Omo-Agege does not mince his words on where Presidential elections will be held. They’ve now been rescheduled for November 18, 2023.

“The AFBC elections must take place in Africa in compliance with Article 17.7 of our Constitution,” said Azania emphatically in response to the International Boxing Association (IBA) offer to have the Presidential elections conducted in Dubai along with the AFBC Extraordinary Congress.

IBA Secretary-General and CEO Chris Roberts, in a letter dated October 13, 2023 to AFBC Board of Directors and National Federations, said in view of the fact that IBA Ordinary Congress will take place in Dubai on December 9, they felt it will be financially viable to cut down on costs by having the AFBC Extraordinary Congress and elections taking place on December 10, 2023 in Dubai.

On the contentious Article 17.7 quoted by AFBC boss Azania, Roberts watered it down: “It’s important to note that this Article pertains to the Ordinary Congress as the entire Article 17 of the AFBC Constitution is dedicated to the Ordinary Congress. The AFBC Extraordinary Congress, regulated by Article 18 of the AFBC Constitution does not specify Africa a mandatory location.”

Azania has however stuck to his guns, and told IBA it’s impossible for AFBC to go against it’s Constitution and that it’s not a must for the elections to be held this year.

“We do understand the financial position of IBA in particular President Umar Kremlev who has spent a lot of his personal money since he came into office.”

“The elections can as well be postponed to next year to coincide with the Mandela African Boxing Cup Championships as originally planned. We must help President Kremlev to ease the pain of the financial burden he’s carrying, I feel sorry for him. We in AFBC are doing all we can to bring on board sponsors.”

In his letter to Kremlev, copied to SG and CEO Chris Roberts, IBA Legal Adviser Yuri Zaytsev, BIIU Nominations Unit and AFBC Ethics Committee, Azania said bidding guidelines for the November 18 elections and Extraordinary Congress have already been submitted to the National Federations wishing to play host to the big event.

“Several African countries have so far indicated an interest to host our Extraordinary Congress, the host will cater for full board accommodation while IBA will handle the air tickets. It’s clearly spelt out in the Constitution IBA is supposed to take care of AFBC elections expenses.” said Azania.

The AFBC supremo also pointed out another reason why Dubai is unsuitable for the elections.

“Right some African countries are banned from entering Dubai, this will be another hurdle,” said Azania.

The IBA has said should the AFBC Extraordinary Congress be held in Africa, they reserve the right to finance it.

“We will take into account several factors among them total estimated cost for the Congress, the host federation’s ability to ensure timely visa, accommodation and logistical arrangements and commitment from AFBC to reimburse IBA for costs in the event of a further cancellation of the Congress,” said Roberts.

✍🏼 AFBC Communications