Boxer Amir Khan could face ban if he fights for Pakistan at Rio Olympics
Khan, born and raised in Bolton, England, won a silver medal in the lightweight category of the 2004 Athens Olympics before turning professional a year later.
Khan’s had expressed his intent to represent Pakistan after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) confirmed that professional fighters would be allowed to compete in Brazil.
The World Boxing Council (WBC), though, is not in favour of such a move, with its President Mauricio Sulaiman confirming that any boxer who participates in the Rio Games would be banned for two years.
“The WBC reiterates its total opposition to allowing professionals to fight amateurs in Rio 2016. This is a scenario where mismatches could end in tragedies. All our champions and top 15 ranked boxers are forbidden to participate. If they do so they will be banned for two years.”
His father Sajjad Khan hails from Matore village near Kahuta, home to Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and close to the capital Islamabad. He migrated to Britain, where Khan was born in 1986.
Khan said he has roots in Pakistan and wants to serve the country.
“I will be very happy if I can compete in Olympics. I want to serve Pakistan,” said Khan, who has been scouting boxing talent in the country for the last few years.
But Khan’s younger brother Haroon’s dreams of representing Pakistan in the 2012 London Olympics after being snubbed at home were blocked by boxing’s governing body AIBA as he had represented Great Britain at junior level.
Seven Pakistani boxers will compete in the last qualifying rounds in Baku, Azerbaijan, but they stand little chance of reaching the Rio Games.
Pakistan’s last appearance in the boxing event came at the Athens Games in 2004.
Pakistan Boxing Federation secretary Iqbal Hussain said he was thrilled at the prospect of Amir representing the country, but the chances seem bleak after the latest development.