MANILA -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) expressed its support to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines' (ABAP) bid to host the boxing Olympic qualifying event.
The qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games is scheduled to take place in Wuhan, China from February 3 to 14.
However, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the central Chinese City of Wuhan, ABAP suggested to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to transfer the event to the Philippines instead.
"We support ABAP's suggestion to transfer the tournament to the Philippines," POC president Bambol Tolentino said in a statement on Wednesday. "The Philippine Olympic Committee will endeavor to assist in whatever way it can."
Tolentino appealed to the IOC to seriously consider transferring the venue and dates of the tournament since the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV is “alarming”.
“The danger posed by possible contamination is highly risky and we cannot afford to expose not only our delegation but others as well,” Tolentino said.
During the PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel last week, ABAP secretary general Ed Picson said the Philippines, fresh from hosting the Southeast Asian Games last month, has what it takes to successfully host the Olympic qualifiers.
“With our recent hosting of the SEA Games, we have the mechanics in place,” said Picson.
Despite ABAP and POC's pleas, the latter will respect the final decision of the IOC regarding the situation in Wuhan.
"We will abide by whatever decision the IOC ultimately makes," Tolentino's statement concluded.
Up to six spots per weight division in the Olympic boxing event in Tokyo are at stake in the qualifying tourney. (PNA)