British-Pakistani boxer Haroon Khan has been told by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) that he cannot represent Pakistan in international competition. Khanâ€™s father, Shah Khan, told the BBC that they intend to appeal the decision, which if supported, would prevent Haroon from representing Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Khan, age 20, is the younger brother of WBA and IBF light welterweight boxing world champion Amir Khan. Their father told BBC Radio Manchester, â€œThe Pakistan boxing federation got an email that Haroon canâ€™t represent them as he represented England as a youth. We sent letters out to AIBA and weâ€™re hoping that theyâ€™ll accept all this.â€
Haroon Khan was originally scheduled to represent Pakistan in the upcoming World Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan, which act as an Olympic qualifying even. Khan represented England as a youth in 2009. He initially hoped to box for England in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but after being overlooked, opted instead to fight for Pakistan, and won a bronze medal.
â€œTheir rulings say when a boxer becomes a national in more than one country then he has decided which country he wants to represent,â€ Shah Khan added. â€œHe became a national of Pakistan in 2010, now that was after heâ€™d boxed for England. Then he decided he wanted to box for Pakistan, which he did in the Commonwealth games, where he won a bronze medal. If you go by that rule he did decide to box for Pakistan so he should be entitled to box for Pakistan. There is another qualifier in February and weâ€™re keeping our fingers crossed heâ€™ll be going there.â€
Hopefully this can be resolved so that Khan can box for the country of his heritage. It would make especially great theater for it to take place in in his newly-adopted country of England.