The failure to sign contracts issued by the local boxing
governing body is likely to see several top boxers miss participating in the
inaugural boxing champion’s league. Uganda Boxing Federation -UBF is organizing
an inaugural boxing champion’s league for the selection of pugilists that will
represent the country in the forthcoming commonwealth games scheduled for next
year in Birmingham.
Four boxers that reached the semifinals per
category from the national trials held in October this year automatically
qualified for the champion’s league. According to the settings of the champion’s
league, the winner from each category will book a slot in the commonwealth
However, as it stands now, elite boxers led by the
Bombers captain Shadir Musa Bwogi are on the verge of missing the commonwealth
games because of their refusal to sign contracts issued by the Uganda Boxing
Federation. Moses Muhangi, the President of Uganda Boxing Federation has
confirmed that more than 12 boxers did not sign contracts by the expiry of the
deadline last week.
He says that the administrators of the league have also
made it clear that the draws will take place on November 26, 2021. He says that other pugilists have replaced the boxers who
failed to sign the contract. Those in this dilemma include the team captain
Shadir Musa, David Semujju and Catherine Nanziri.
The trio took part in the
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games among others. Shadir Musa claims that the contracts restrict them without
stipulating clear ways how they will gain from the contracts.
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Catherine Nanziri, another boxer also reveals that
she is uncomfortable with the contract because it denies her from training with
her club coach, who is she is used to.
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A copy of the contract seen by URN restricts the plays to
only UBF sanctioned and approved events. “In case of any other participation in
any other event/ activity not sanctioned or approved, the boxer must seek for
UBF consent and permission first,” reads the contract. Adding
that, “A boxer will also Not Box, train or
participate in any other boxing league or competition without first obtaining
the consent in writing of UBF or UBF assigned agent.”
It also states that the “A boxer will Assign his/her
intellectual property, image, name usage and other rights to UBF or UBF
assigned agent plus also, the boxer will not be allowed to publicly comment on
boxing related matters without seeking consent and approval from UBF or UBF
assigned agents among other restrictions.”
The contract tasks the Federation to ensure a conducive
environment for the boxer to avoid lack of activities and make reasonable
efforts to always pay boxer’s allowances and entitlements on time among other
obligations. This differs from other sports Federations that do not
contract players. For example in football, a player is only contracted to his
club. If he is summoned for national team duty, the national team is supposed
to get in touch with the player’s club.
Moses Muhangi, the President of the Uganda Boxing
Federation told URN that when the boxers are on the national team they are
always under the management of the Federation unlike when they are playing for
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When our reporter asked the Federation President
whether the contracts by the Federation will not contravene the contracts players have with their respective
clubs, he said that the two parties are
chasing the same cause.
However, he made it clear that where contradictions
arise, the law of the Federation will prevail. “When the club has rules that
contradict with ours, those of the club do not work,” he said.
Muhangi, this will help both parties, the player and the Federation in case of
any funding. The contracts provided by the Federation go up to four years. The
championship league tournament is slated for December 4 2021.