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Top Boxers Set to Miss Commonwealth Slots Over Failure to Sign UBF Contracts

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.
shadir Musa, captain bombers in action during the national trials

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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 games.

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 their clubs.

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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. 

According to 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.

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