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Former president questions boxing elections

Oum Yourann (left) and Lak Sam Ath (front right) , General Director of Sports at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, photographed prior to the CBAF executive committee election December 31.

OUM Yourann revealed to the Post Monday that he has sent a report to the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, and to the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, contesting the December 31election which saw him ousted as president of the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation (CABF). The former boxing chief received only fives votes out of a total of 23, with two considered null and void, while his deputy Tem Moeun collected the majority and was duly appointed president of the new four-year mandate.

“The traitors lead by Tem Moeun, with participation from Mil Kado, Meas Sokry and Chhoeung Yav Yen, have planned to push me out the presidency,” claimed Oum Yourann by phone. “Before the elections, they organised a party and bought phone cards for other voters, especially provincial representatives. I saw many irregularities before the election, so I’ve asked the related institutions to dissolve the congress on December 31.”

The former CABF president stated that since 2001, the federation had achieved many successes both domestically and abroad under his chairmanship.

“I have a good relationship with different boxing federations in the region and in the world,” he assured, refuting allegations that he had forbidden Cambodians to fight overseas due to corruption. “The traitors always said no to the trips abroad because their language skills are not good. So I did everything.”

Oum Yourann also asserted that the new executive committee would not help the sport in the Kingdom.

“The traitors are hungry for power, so the federation won’t be improved under their management,” he declared. “My priority is not the presidency, but to contribute to the sport’s development in Cambodia.”

Chhoeung Yav Yen, who was elected deputy of the CABF, declined to respond directly to Oum Yourann’s accusations, but noted that the former president had accepted the regulations of the election before ballot counting had begun, declaring the election fair and satisfactory.

“We are a civil society,” stated Chhoeung Yav Yen. “We don’t have money to lobby the 28 affiliated [provincial] associations. They have their minds, and they have their choices. The election was held under the supervision of high level representatives from the Ministry of Education, the National Olympic Committee and a dozen journalists. Most of them observed that the election was better than other sport federations.”

The new deputy also claimed that executive committee members hold a lot of evidence pointing to nepotism during the previous madate. “The members of [Oum Yourann’s] family had jobs at the CABF, but they didn’t work,” said Chhoeung Yav Yen.

“We found many false documents, reports and receipts, especially on expenditure. He used the materials appropriated to the federation for his own personal use, for example a car.”

Many boxers and representatives of boxing clubs affiliated to the CABF have cited corruption in the past, especially in the arrangement of fights at different television station arenas. Long Salavorn, boxing trainer and manager of Salavorn club, hopes that the new executive committee will lead the federation in the right way. However, some boxing officials are not optimistic at the new leadership, as many executives were part of the previous mandate.

Lak Sam Ath, General Director of Sports at the Ministry of Education, had expressed the need for a good relationship between Oum Yourann and the new committee during a speech just after the election results, but could not be reached for comment Monday.



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