Passports haunt amateurs ahead of Olympic qualifiers
Some amateur boxers have missed a chance to participate in Olympic Games qualifiers in Yaoundé, Cameroon after failing to process their passports in time.
Following the setback, acting- national boxing coach, Andy Muyaya, and other technical panel members have had their selection limited to passport holders.
A blame game has since ensued with amateurs that have been left out hitting at Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) for failing to process the passports on their behalf.
Two of the amateurs [names withheld] said it was painful to be axed from the squad.
“They were supposed to help us process the passports and deduct the money from our allowances. This is painful. We have been training since last year in preparation for the Olympic Games, only to be told that they will base the selection on those that hold passports only,” said one of the boxers.
Another boxer chipped in, saying the current executive does not want to improve the welfare of amateur boxers.
“We spent almost two years on the sidelines because of the suspension Maba was serving. They convinced us to remain as amateurs because they promised to help us fight in Olympic and Commonwealth Games. We did not follow our colleagues that turned professional,” he complained.
“We do not have any source of income. We hardly fight and, whenever we compete, we don’t get anything. This is pathetic because we don’t have reliable sources of income to process the passports on our own.”
Meanwhile, Muyaya said it was unfortunate that they only limited their selection to amateurs with passports.
“Most of the amateurs were fore-warned last year to process the passports in time. I would have loved to select anyone who was available and outstanding. Our choice was restricted to passport holders,” he said.
Maba vice-president, Pyson Likagwa, said they were facing financial woes.
“With the current economic challenges, we encourage amateurs to use their parents, guardians, clubs or well-wishers to fund them to get passports,” he said.
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