IBA secretary general and chief executive George Yerolimpos said he had received a "steady streams of complaints" from athletes and officials from boycotting nations that "do not support this decision" ©IBA

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has pledged to provide financial assistance for athletes from boycotted nations to compete at the Women's and Men's World Championships, insisting that they should not be liable to "any political games".

Canada, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden and the United States have withdrawn from both events, with Britain opting to boycott the women’s tournament.

Among the reasons cited by the National Federations include the lifting of the ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers, despite the war in Ukraine.

IBA secretary general and chief executive George Yerolimpos has today issued an open letter, hitting back at views expressed by the boycotting governing bodies in recent days and stressing the International Federation’s support for athletes seeking to compete.

Yerolimpos claimed that the decisions made by the National Federations have been made in a "vacuum" and "did not reflect" the views of their athletes, coaches and officials.

Canada are among the nations that have boycotted both the Women's and Men's World Championships ©Getty Images
Canada are among the nations that have boycotted both the Women's and Men's World Championships ©Getty Images

"The confusion and misinformation within these National Federations has resulted in a steady stream of complaints from athletes, coaches, technical officials, and administrators that do not support this decision and need immediate support in making sure they can attend these events," Yerolimpos wrote.

"Your loyalty and commitment to IBA must be recognized and commended, as you have chosen to put your athletes first and not fall victim to divisive political moves designed to undermine IBA and the numerous initiatives taken to ensure all athletes are able to compete.

"With this, athletes will have the chance to become world champion, and receive the rewards that come with that with a view to a financially sustainable career that will lay the foundation for life after boxing.

"IBA has declared its utmost commitment to doing whatever possible including financial aid through its 'Financial Support Programme' to ensure that all boycotting National Federation athletes are able to fight for glory and achieve their dream of becoming a world champion.

"To the leadership of National Federations that choose to use geopolitics as a means to play political games within boxing, IBA stands by the fact that athletes, coaches and officials from a country shall not be liable for any conduct of the management of their national federations or any political games."

Canada Boxing, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association, Boxing Association of England and USA Boxing - which have announced boycotts - are members of the Common Cause Alliance (CCA) that is campaigning to keep boxing at the Olympics.

Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst leads the group but his organisation has not announced a boycott and neither have fellow CCA members Boxing Australia, French Boxing Federation and Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.

The Boxing Federation of Ukraine has also yet to pull out.

The Women's Boxing World Championships are scheduled for March 15 to 26 in New Delhi in India, followed by the Men's World Championships in Tashkent in Uzbekistan from May 1 to 14.

The IBA has marked the one-month countdown to the women’s event by unveiling its brand identity which aims to reflect "India’s growing reputation as a key destination for women’s boxing".

The design system developed by WePlay is built on the three key principles "visual disruption", "cohesive flexibility" and "regional adaptability".

"Our ambition is by growing the global appeal of boxing to make the sport successful and highly appreciated, attracting more fans, younger audience, athletes, media attention, and sponsors," a statement from IBA read.

"As part of this ambition, we will focus on building the IBA brand equity, growth of our digital engagement platform, enhancing fan experiences, sustainability, gender equality, and driving commercial opportunities."