Zambia, Algeria and Mozambique boxers are the victims.
IBA yet to issue official statement.
A shocking revelation has now emerged that the Maputo prize money of boxers from Zambia, Algeria and Mozambique was used by the deposed President of the Africa Boxing Confederation (AFBC) Bertrand Mendouga without the approval of the Board of Directors.
Mendouga, in a letter to IBA President Umar Kremlev, said following failure by the international body to send the annual operating budget of $500,000 promised by Kremlev to confederations at the IBA Congress in Istanbul in 2022, he decided to use the prize money of the three countries for the launch of AFBC headquarters early this year in Yaounde, and then recover the expenditure from IBA’s remittance of the operating budget money to AFBC.
Seemingly surprised by Mendouga’s admission, the Interim President of AFBC Azania Omo-Agege has accused Mendouga of acting unilaterally without seeking the authority of the board to use the money.
“This is very sad news for Africa boxing, we’re shocked and flabbergasted by the one-man show of Mendouga to use the hard-earned prize money of boxers from the three countries without seeking approval from the Board of Directors,” said a disappointed Azania.
“What’s even more annoying is Mendouga’s arrogance when I sought explanation from him on why he decided to use boxers’ prize money without approval from the board. It was not necessary at all to use the prize money.
“It’s really shameful, we’ve reported the issue to IBA to decide on the next course of action,” said Azania.
IBA has yet to issue an official statement on Mendouga’s decision to use the Maputo prize money of the three countries for the launch of the AFBC headquarters in Yaounde.
With his guard high up, Mendouga appears to pass the buck to IBA in his letter to President Umar Kremlev which reads in part: “In view of the urgency imposed by the acquisition of a headquarters building and its inauguration by you in February 2023, I have proposed a draft budget in accordance with the promise you made at the IBA Congress held in Istanbul on May 12, 2022, which was to make available to the confederations an annual operating budget of USD 500,000.
“I would like to remind you that the USD 100,000 sent in September 2022 for the organisation of the Maputo 2022 African Championships and the extraordinary congress were equitably used for these purposes.
“However, because it was necessary to honour Africa for the first time by providing the AFBC with a headquarters on the scale of this international boxing structure, and in view of the imminence of your arrival in Cameroon scheduled for February 12, 2023 for the inauguration of the said headquarters, I had to use the money available (prize money from the aforementioned three countries) to meet the expenses linked to:
− the rental ;
− to repair the building, which is in a very poor state of repair;
− equipping the headquarters ;
− and payment salaries of AFBC staff recruited after my election on 16 July 2022 in Algiers, and that of the Secretary General on 17 September 2022 in Maputo.
“It is obvious that this change in the destination of funds is justified by your promise to provide the AFBC with an operating budget in due form. Unfortunately, until 30 June 2023, the AFBC has received nothing from the IBA to enable it to regularise this
“It should also be pointed out that AFBC has neither a sponsor nor any source of income other than funding from the IBA.
In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that the use of prize money for the reasons mentioned above, which is quite simply a matter of the state of necessity faced by the AFBC, is far from being qualified as mismanagement as claimed by the Board of Directors, which had moreover received the detailed statement of these expenses, informed you.
“All the supporting documents for the above-mentioned expenditure have been made available to the AFBC Secretary General. It would therefore be advisable to regularise the AFBC budget for the 2022-2023 financial year, to enable me to remedy all these situations.”
What is not immediately clear is when boxers from Zambia, Algeria and Mozambique will receive the Maputo prize money.
Algeria topped the 2022 Africa Championships in Maputo with four gold, five silver and six medals followed by Mozambique on five gold, two silver with Zambia third on four gold and three bronze medals.
Gold medallists received $10,000, silver $5000 and $2,500 each for the two bronze medallists.
From the foregoing, it’s obviously clear that the AFBC is in dire financial straits, and is therefore banking on IBA funding to sort out boxers’ prize money from the three countries and for its upkeep.
However, with the change of guard at the top, it will be interesting to see whether the BoD will accept funding meant for administrative purposes to be used to pay the boxers’ prize money.
Sad as it is, boxers from Zambia, Algeria and Mozambique have no choice but to keep on waiting for their prize money to be remitted to their bank accounts.