ORIENTAL Quarries Boxing Promotions manager Christopher Malunga says discrimination in the army against boxers is killing the sport. Malunga said boxers were being forced to either retire from the service if they wanted to go professional or remain as amateurs.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka at Top Star head office, Malunga said he would write to President Edgar Lungu and the Minister of Defence over the matter.
“The issue of boxers turning professional, I will write to the Head of State because I feel that, [by the way] I am not scared of anything, it is discrimination of its worst kind. Christopher Katongo went to Germany and South Africa and came back and he was even promoted, he played as a professional player. Why are the boxers discriminated against? Boxers have to resign from the army to turn professional sportsmen,” Malunga said.
“Lottie Mwale resigned, Anthony Mwamba resigned, Joseph Chingangu had to resign from ZNS, all of them had to resign to become professional boxers and I think this is discrimination. I don’t think the government would want such a situation to go on.”
He queried the army on why they allowed footballers to go professional and barred boxers from doing the same.
“I will go on to the Minister of Defence and lodge in a complaint…Why are you allowing footballers but these other sportsmen you are saying ‘no they cannot turn professional’? You employed them in the army because of sport but when they want to advance in their careers, you are saying ‘no unless you retire’ while footballers, you are allowing them. This thing is killing the sport,” said Malunga.