SUBIC – Citing the “current situation” in the south which “may not be safe and may jeopardize the safety of the athletes,” the Malaysia Amateur Boxing Federation has withdrawn from the 2013 ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championships at the Subic gym in Zambales.
The “eleventh hour cancellation” was relayed via email Friday by Major Wan Abdul Hamid (R), vice president of the Malaysia Amateur Boxing Federation, to Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.
“Due to the armed conflict in Sabah, our National Sports Council has directed MABF to cancel our trip to Subic,” the Malaysian boxing official said of the tournament backed by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, PLDT, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Clarktel, Subictel, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Videogear Inc., Exile Lights and Sound, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Sports Commission, and supported by Sony Phils., Coca-Cola Bottlers, and Nestle Phils.
The number of participating countries is now down to 25, possibly 24, if Picson’s fears that Pakistan could follow suit come true.
“Pakistan also has not sent flight details and other requirements, although it confirmed and sent a list of team members,” said Picson. “I suspect it is also withdrawing.”
Hamid expressed “sincere apologies for this unpleasant news” and confirmed his presence in the Commission Meeting Sunday.
“We are equally disappointed that we in sport should be affected by political conflict. That said, we completely understand,” said Picson. “We are happy however, that you will still attend the Commission meetings. Looking forward to seeing you, my friend.”
The tournament runs from March 10-17 with the Philippines represented by James Palicte (60 kgs), Jade Bornea (49 kgs.), Ian Clark Bautista (52 kgs), Jonas Bacho (56 kgs), and Eumir Felix Marcial (64 kgs).