Uganda’s boxing team of five boxers could be barred from taking part in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Moses Muhangi, the President of the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) told this publication on Tuesday that they had got notification from AIBA, the world Boxing body asking them to explain if they are the rightful office bearers who selected the national team to take part in the Games.
“We have been told that failure to convince AIBA will mean that our boxers could be stopped from competing at the Commonwealth Games,” said Muhangi who was voted to office two months ago. He however added that they are handling the matter with the World body.
The development comes after former President of UBF, Kenneth Gimugu wrote to AIBA in a letter dated March 17th questioning why Uganda submitted an unapproved and ineligible team to the Commonwealth Games. Although Gimugu still claims to the the President of UBF, a new team was voted in office early this year after Court cleared the elections to take place.
In the letter Gimugu wrote to AIBA Competitions Coordinator, Em Ksenia that this publication has seen, he stated that the team submitted was made by politicians who interfered in the selection process. ” The team Chief De Mission Beatrice Ayikoru adamantly refused to submit or consider the list submitted by the technical committee of the federation,” stated the letter.
The letter pointed out that some of the boxers on the team like David Semujju suffered a knock out this year, while Regan Simbwa and Nasir Bashir also suffered a serious concussion and knock out respectively, which according to the rules of boxing rules them out on medical grounds.
“We told the Chief De Mission and Uganda’s Commonwealth Games Association about this information and even provided a list approved by the Federation’s technical commission with minutes, but she was not willing to understand the AIBA technical rules, on eligibility,” stated the letter to AIBA.
According to the rules of boxing a boxer cannot be allowed to participate in a competition if he/she has had a concussion or knockout few months before the next fight.
Uganda could therefore have some of their boxers barred from competing if it is discovered that Gimugu’s letter has some truth and is not simply sabotage. The Bombers team comprises of Musa Bwogi (69kg), Juma Miiro (46-49kg), David Semujju (64kg), Nasir Bashir (56kg) and Regan Simbwa (81kg).
When contacted for comment, President of the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), William Blick refused to comment about the matter. Lamex Omara Apita, the Commissioner in-charge of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Education and Sports, but also chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Commonwealth Games was not available for comment as his phone was switched off.