THE Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) announced Friday its withdrawal from participating in the Asian Youth Championships set in Bangkok, Thailand January 24-31.
The decision came about after the Department of Foreign Affairs raised to Crisis Alert Level II advisory on travel by Filipino nationals to the beleaguered city which has been rocked by continuous protest rallies for several weeks now.
The Thai government had earlier declared a state of emergency in the city and some other areas in the country.
Abap president Ricky Vargas said while "we hope that our apprehensions are eventually proven unfounded, we choose to be safe rather than sorry. These are young boys aged 17-18 years old and we cannot risk their safety."
The PLDT-Abap team is made up of light flyweight Dannel Maamo,flyweight Hipolito Banal, bantamweight Presco Carcosia, and welterweight Sammy Bernabe Jr. Coaches are Romeo Brin and Ronald Chavez. Delegation head is Abap executive director Ed Picson.
One-star international referee-judge Rolando Jose and Aiba International Technical Official Karina Picson were also supposed to go to officiate in the competition.
The tournament was supposed to be in preparation for the World Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in April which is the qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.
"We'll have to look for another foreign trip for the boys to give them exposure before Bulgaria," Vargas said.