Young boxers from 21 clubs in Leinster have been denied a chance to compete in this weekend's All-Ireland championships, as the civil war in amateur boxing rumbles on.
The National finals of the Boy/Girl 1&2 Championships take place in Drimnagh Boxing Club this weekend but a large number of the leading 12/13 year old boxers in Leinster will not be permitted to compete - the IABA confirming as much in a statement this afternoon.
In June, the Leinster Council, Connacht Council and the Dublin board - half of the island's six units - withdrew their support for the national body over a delay in appointing two new directors to the board, as was approved at the 2019 AGM.
In August, the IABA's Central Council passed motions calling for the affiliations of those organisations and the memberships of their directly elected officers to be revoked. Two weeks ago, this decision was approved by an independent membership review panel.
While the dispute was ongoing, the Central Council of the IABA and the Leinster Council held separate Boy/Girl 1&2 Championships in early November in Athy and Arklow respectively
Boxers from 21 clubs competed in the Leinster Council's Arklow event, while boxers from 10 clubs in the IABA organised tournament in Athy, the latter seeing a number of boxers progress via walkovers.
As the IABA insisted in their statement this afternoon, the Leinster Council had been warned prior to the Arklow event that their victorious boxers would not be permitted entry to the All-Ireland Championships.
The IABA today released text of their correspondence with the Arklow Boxing Club and Wicklow Co. Board, in which they wrote "any event held in your club/county under the guise of 'Leinster Championships' is illegal."
In their statement today, they said of the Leinster Council organised tournament: "This unprecedented event, which was not organised or approved by the Central Council, was not a route to qualification for the National Championships.
"Clubs which entered boxers in the Wicklow event, and chose for their boxers not to contest the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships in Kildare, were aware that their boxers would not qualify for the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships."
The central body insist that the Athy tournament provided "the only route to qualification for the National Championships" from the Leinster unit and that boxers who emerged in the Arklow event are not eligible.
Connacht boxers, despite their provincial council's expulsion, are unaffected. The Connacht Council cancelled their own event due to Covid-related issues, with the IABA organising their own Connacht event in Westport two weeks ago, with fighters progressing to the national finals.
Dublin boxers are also unaffected, the IABA expressing satisfaction "no officers whose membership was removed would be involved in the running of the queried (Dublin) championship."
In their statement, the Central Council of the IABA blamed the provincial bodies for the situation.
"The Central Council takes no pleasure from the current situation, however, it is important to note, the juncture we now find ourselves at is a direct consequences of the unprecedented and ill-advised decisions taken by the aforementioned units."