Two time volleyball league champions Nemostars and their female counterparts Ndejje Elites are threatening to pull out of the NSSF Volleyball League.
The two teams, together with Ndejje Sharks are protesting Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) demands that all teams in the men’s Serie A and the women division wear the branded jerseys provided by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) the league’s title sponsor.
Though the women jerseys are yet to be distributed, the men’s first set was. Only Nemostars and Ndejje Sharks have not picked their jerseys out of the 10 teams that makeup the men’s Serie A.
“UVF is a federation of affiliates not a franchise. UVF does not own the clubs,” read part of Neko Muduse-Ojala’s reply to UVF concerning the development. “The NSSF sponsorship agreement is with UVF and does not cover sponsorship for clubs by the same NSSF. Clubs in particular, need to raise own funds to support their activities at UVF events and elsewhere to survive as entities.”
“Whereas we welcome sponsorship for UVF, it is wrong for UVF or their sponsor to lay down terms that are detrimental to the clubs existence and sustenance. Please do not force us out of the league. You were elected to come out with ideas that help the game to grow in Uganda,” Muduse-Ojala added.
Ndejje follow suit
Though Ndejje Elites are to come out with an official statement their coach Johnson Kawenyera did speak to this newspaper. “If they don’t want to listen to us, we will step aside,” Kawenyera said. “All we are asking for from UVF is how we benefit by putting on a jersey by someone who doesn’t give back to us.”
“Ndejje, the institution invests millions in volleyball. The women’s team has been involved in continental tournaments twice but it’s not clear if NSSF will come to our rescue if we win again,” Kawenyera added.
All this comes at a time after UVF president Sadik Nasiwu issued a statement asking clubs to adhere to the new development. “However, clubs that prefer to use individual club - sponsor branded uniforms are required to brand them with the NSSF official logo on the front right part of the uniform shirt in (4 inches by 2 inches) dimensions,” read part of Sadik’s letter.
“Short of implementing the above condition, any Club that uses non – NSSF branded uniform for any NSSF Volleyball League match shall be penalised Shs20,000 per non-branded uniform used in that match.” “That penalty must be paid in full before the next League match or else the Club shall lose all the match points (25-0, 25-0, 25-0),” added Sadik.