ABAP chairman expresses disappointment over IOC's decision on OQT hosting

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan expressed disappointment after the rescheduled Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Boxing was not awarded to the Philippines, but instead to Amman, Jordan.

The announcement was made by the International Olympic Committee-Boxing Task Force Saturday morning (Manila time), giving the Middle Eastern city hosting rights for the Asian and Oceanic qualifiers slated to be held from March 3 to 11.

It was supposed to be hosted by Wuhan, China from February 3 to 14, but was cancelled by the IOC-BTF headed by Morinari Watanabe, due to the novel coronavirus scare. The disease has already claimed 41 lives as of press time.

"The news that came out early this morning that the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Boxing that was pulled out of Wuhan, China has been awarded instead to Amman, Jordan is obviously, a disappointment," said Pangilinan in a statement.

"We were prepared to fully support the hosting and would have mobilized all resources available toward that end," he added.

Pangilinan, who is also the Chairman of TV5 Network, Inc., the mother company of this website, expressed his commitment to ABAP Pres. Ricky Vargas and Secretary-General Ed Picson in presenting a bid to the IOC.

An official petition was sent last January 22 through IOC representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, in light of several countries' reservations about heading to Wuhan due to safety issues brought by the disease.

"I thank the IOC Boxing Task Force for their kind consideration of our offer. We wish Jordan well in their hosting," Pangilinan said.

"I also wish to convey our appreciation to those who supported our bid to host, notably the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, IOC representative to the Philippines Ms. Mikee Jaworski and the public at large. Onward to the Olympics.".

Meanwhile, the IOC explained that Jordan had the best offer among the countries that submitted bids. The Philippines is also no stranger to hosting an international sporting event, as it successfully held the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.

"After a careful review of all alternatives, the BTF approved the proposal of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) today, in order to confirm the competition dates and location as soon as possible, in the best interest of the athletes preparing for the qualifier," the body said in a statement.

"The BTF would like to thank all the [National Olympic Committees] that offered their support to re-organize the competition at such short notice."

A total of 41 Olympic slots in the men's division and 22 in the women's division are at stake in the Asia-Oceania qualifier. A second qualifier, the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, will be held in Paris in May.

Reigning world champion Nesthy Petecio and silver medalist Eumir Marcial, are seen as the strongest bets to book a ticket to Tokyo later this year.