Amir Khan could face a ban from boxing if he decides to represent Pakistan at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The Bolton-born star who won a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics, shocked the British community by saying that he would relish the chance to honour his Pakistani heritage by fighting for the Asian country.
Khan's remarks came shortly after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) confirmed that professional fighters would be allowed to compete in Brazil. The World Boxing Council (WBC), though, is not in favour of such a move, with its President Mauricio Sulaiman confirming that any boxer who participates in the Rio Games would be banned for two years.
"The WBC reiterates its total opposition to allowing professionals to fight amateurs in Rio 2016. This is a scenario where mismatches could end in tragedies. All our champions and top 15 ranked boxers are forbidden to participate. If they do so they will be banned for two years."
The British Boxing Board of Control too is in support of the WBC position, with General Secretary Robert Smith saying: "We are in constant contact with them on this issue. It is a matter of serious consideration for Amir. I cannot see any chance at all of the WBC relaxing their position before the Rio Games begin in August. Nor do we think they should."
Khan's statement has sparked controversy Britain leaving a number of his fans disappointed. Many of them even took to social media to criticise his actions. His performances at the Athens Olympics in 2004 where he won a silver medal for Great Britain were widely appreciated both by fans and experts.
The 29-year-old has not had the best of times of late, losing his professional fight against Mexico's Saul "Canelo"Alvarez last month. The British star was knocked out in the sixth round of their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.