The 2nd European Games will be held in Minsk, Belarus from June 21 to 30.
Boxing is included in the games’ program too but here athletes don’t need qualifications as the last one is included in the games’ program as a European championship. Choosing a lineup has caused a stir among boxers. Secretary General of the NOC of Armenia Hrachya Rostomyan explained the current situation to the ANOC press service.
-Mr. Rostomyan the selection of boxers has inflamed feelings of the certain cycles. The Boxing Federation of Armenia accuses the NOC of Armenia of choosing the lineup and obliging the coaches.
- First of all I must say the exclusive right of the accreditation and application of athletes to the European Games belongs to the National Olympic Committee of Armenia. Taking into account the non-legitimate processes that have taken place and the fact that the NOC of Armenia doesn’t officially recognize the Boxing Federation of Armenia finding that there were violations during the election of the federation president as a result of which the latter’s membership to the ANOC has been suspended the above-mentioned statement of the Boxing Federation of Armenia can be described as incompetent. However, proceeding from the interest of the Republic of Armenia to represent our country in the best way in international arenas the NOC of Armenia held a meeting inviting both federations to present their candidates and to decide the national team’s lineup for the European Games. During the meeting the parties discussed the list of candidates and decided to include five best boxers from each federation in the lineup going to Minsk.
-The BFA has issued a statement that First Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of RA Gabriel Ghazaryan also attended the meeting. Is it true?
-No, it isn’t. The BFA is again in its role giving out desirable for valid. On May 20 besides me the meeting was attended by the head of Sports Department of the ANOC, Gagik Bolshikyan, the representative of Boxing Department of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Tatul Hovhannisyan, the advisor of the Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Arman Harutyunyan, the head coach of the Armenia boxing team, Rudik Mkrtchyan, the head coach of the Armenia boxing youth team, Karen Aghamalyan and coaches Rafik Mehrabyan and Robert Petrosyan.
-The BFA has announced that the candidates of the other federation didn’t take part in the Armenian Championship and they aren’t team members; therefore have no right to take part in the European Games.
-One clarifying supplement, the thing is that they weren’t allowed to participate. Yes, there was an offer and the coach insisted on the boys’ participation as they are strong guys and deserve being in the team. But immediately in the evening the coach sent a message writing that the Boxing Federation of Armenia had refused to include the guys in the team lineup saying that otherwise they had to come and sign the same documents. Of course, I’ve saved the message. The guys have passed all the training procedures. Each of them has participated in an A class competition. It is enough for including them in the team lineup.
-At the press conference athletes said they would boycott the Games. What would you say of it?
-I urge the athletes to engage only in sports. They don’t represent a federation but a country, the Republic of Armenia. Dear coaches and athletes, don’t fall victim to provocation, it’s a way to nowhere. At some point I share their concern but the responsible for this situation is not the NOC of Armenia or me but the lawbreaker president of the Boxing Federation of Armenia who didn’t found appropriate to be here. The situation is aggravating only due to the illegitimate president of the BFA. After all the NOC of Armenia has proved with its work of years that it gives priority to sports and not to federations and in this case, to boxing.
-Has the lineup been chosen after all?
-Yes, the applications have been already sent. Armenia will join the 2nd European Games with the following lineup:
Arthur Hovhannisyan (49 kg), Baregham Harutyunyan (52 kg), Zhirayr Sargsyan (56 kg), Karen Tonakanyan/Hrayr Shahverdyan (60 kg), Hovhannes Bachkov (64 kg), Gurgen Madoyan (69 kg), Arman Darchinyan (75 kg), Gor Nersesyan (81 kg), Henrik Sargsyan (91 kg) and Gurgen Hovhannisyan (+91 kg). Anush Grigoryan at 51 kg will participate in the European Games on nominal invitation. Head coach of the Armenia boxing team Rudik Mkrtchyan and coaches Rafik Mehrabyan and Robert Petrosyan will also travel to Minsk.
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