IBA Presidential candidate Boris van der Vorst wants the Extraordinary Congress to be held in Switzerland ©Boris van der Vorst

International Boxing Association (IBA) Presidential candidate Boris van der Vorst has been accused of spreading "inappropriate propaganda" after calling for the re-run Extraordinary Congress to be staged in Switzerland without a bidding process.

Robert Reher, head of the Slovenian Boxing Association, has criticised van der Vorst in a letter obtained by insidethegames where he voiced his concerns over the Dutchman’s bid to stage the Presidential elections in Lausanne.

A venue for the Extraordinary Congress has yet to be confirmed by the IBA with a decision due to be made on Friday (July 15).

Van der Vorst, who is set to stand against incumbent President Umar Kremlev of Russia, had called on the IBA to conduct the meeting in Lausanne - the Olympic capital - "as an additional necessary measure to show commitment to integrity and transparency."

But Reher said he was strongly against the suggestion due to Switzerland’s proximity to van der Vorst’s home country.

The Slovenian official expressed his "deep concern" over the proposal and claimed the Armenian Boxing Federation, Yemen Boxing Federation, Guyana Boxing Association and Nepal Boxing Federation had also shared their opposition.

Robert Reher has pledged his support behind IBA President Umar Kremlev ©IBA
Robert Reher has pledged his support behind IBA President Umar Kremlev ©IBA

He also pledged his support behind Kremlev who had been re-elected unopposed at the last Extraordinary Congress in Istanbul in May but is now set to face another Presidential election after van der Vorst successfully appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) having been ruled ineligible to stand against the Russian in the Turkish city.

"Mr van der Vorst and his team wrote letter to us about the injustice that has happened to them but I personally believe that the only one who can speak of injustice is our current President Mr Umar Kremlev," Reher wrote.

"To clarify, we strongly condemn the emails we received from an anonymous sender and believe that inappropriate propaganda is still being spread on social networks and through messages hidden in emails we receive from Mr van der Vorst and his team.

"I believe that our favourite sport, the sport we live for, should not be mixed up with politics, but that is exactly what is happening now, as the Extraordinary Congress was initiated in Switzerland, which is not far from the home country of the already mentioned Presidential candidate.

"Mr Ninvalle from Guyana Boxing Association gave us a good example in his letter and I echo his words, because nobody asked me for my opinion about re-elections either.

"So again, I reiterate my support for the views of the NF's [National Federations] who have expressed their concerns and observations and for others who share similar views as us."

The venue for the re-run Extraordinary Congress is due to be announced later this week ©IBA
The venue for the re-run Extraordinary Congress is due to be announced later this week ©IBA

Van der Vorst and four Board of Directors hopefuls had been ruled out of contesting the President's post at the previous Extraordinary Congress by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit for alleged breaches of collaboration between candidates and early campaigning.

After Kremlev's re-election, van der Vorst filed an appeal to the CAS, which came back with a verdict on June 14.

The CAS ruled that all five had broken rules related to early campaigning, as well as Kremlev adding that a formal warning or no sanction at all would have been sufficient.

As a result, the IBA have decided to hold a second Extraordinary Congress in late September or October, allowing a repeat of the Presidential election.

Reher said he was "not happy and satisfied" with the restaging of the Presidential election but insisted he would "make the same decision as many times as I have to."

"I believe that the IBA did the right thing by putting out a call for all NFs who would like to organise the Extraordinary Congress, in case the re-elections really have to take place," Reher wrote.

"This is the fairest and most transparent way to resolve the situation that has arisen."

In response to Reher's letter, Van der Vorst reiterated the reasons why he felt the Extraordinary Congress should be staged in Switzerland.

“In order to ensure maximum transparency and integrity, we believe that it is necessary to convene this Congress in Switzerland, where the IOC and most Olympic International Federations - including IBA - are headquartered," van der Vorst told insidethegames

"This step would offer stakeholders additional reassurances that IBA is ready to conduct a fair and democratic election."