National-level boxing player Imran kicked out for sporting beard in Mumbai

MUMBAI: A National-level taekwondo and kick-boxing player barred from a boxing competition because he has the beard as part of his Muslim faith.

According to Hindustan Times report, Sayyed Imran Ali, a second-year BCom student at GR Patil College in Mumbra came to University Sports Pavilion in Marine Lines last Monday to compete for his match.

But the university officials citing the rule by International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) barred him from the ring after he refused to shave his beard off.

Uttam Kendre, director, University of Mumbai (MU) department of physical education and sports said, “[Indian Boxing] Federation requires boxers to be clean-shaven before every match.”

Imran Ali, who sports a goatee, said he was not aware of the rule since this was his first competitive boxing.

“I have been participating in kick-boxing, karate and taekwondo competitions at the state and the national level for the past seven years. My small beard was never an issue,” said the boxer, who runs a martial arts training centre in Mumbra.