Paris will host the rearranged European boxing qualifier in June ©Getty Images

Paris has been chosen to stage the rearranged European boxing qualifier for the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force (BTF), which is organising the qualifiers, confirmed the French capital had replaced London as the host city for the event.

The BTF said it had selected Paris "as part of its initial commitment to organise its events in the host countries of recent or upcoming Olympic Games, and because of the opportunity to continue to benefit from its already established relationship with the Local Organising Committee, which was originally entrusted to organise the now-cancelled final world qualifier".

Budapest had emerged as the favourite to stage the competition, scheduled for June 4 to 8, and the Hungarian Boxing Federation had provisionally booked a venue on those dates.

The Copper Box on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park had been due to host the event, which began in March last year before being suspended after three days of competition due to COVID-19, from April 22 to 26. 

The BTF, responsible for the qualifiers and the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 after the IOC suspended the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) Olympic recognition, decided to move the event from London in January amid concerns over a surge in COVID-19 cases in Britain.

The qualifier began in London last March before being suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images
The qualifier began in London last March before being suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images

The European boxing qualifier will start at the point at which it was suspended last year, and it is expected to be held either behind closed doors or with limited attendance.

Two days of action took place last March before the tournament was halted because of the developing situation with COVID-19.

Spectators were permitted at the first two days of competition, before the event was moved behind closed doors for the third day, prior to its suspension.

The IOC faced criticism for allowing the event to start after after two Turkish boxers and a coach, and three members of the Croatian boxing delegation, tested positive for coronavirus.

In total, 176 boxers from across Europe remain in the competition, which will be held across eight men’s weight categories and five for women. 

AIBA criticised the IOC's BTF for cancelling the world qualifier that had been planned for Paris in June, claiming it would have been possible to hold the event despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.