The Physical and Sports Bill of 2022 proposes tough penalties for sexual exploitation, manipulation of sports results, and betting among others. The bill proposes penalties ranging from Shillings 1.4 million to 400 million on conviction or imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The State Minister for Sports, Peter Ogwang tabled the Bill before Parliament last week, a month after Moses Hassim Magogo, the Budiope East Member of Parliament a private member’s National Sports Bill. According to Ogwang, the National Council of Sports Act, Cap 48, enacted in 1948 is inadequate to address the current challenges of sports administration and management in the country.

He says that the 1948 Act is limited to only amateur competitive sports and does not provide for the commercialization of sports or professionalism, the current global trends in sports, and to a large extent inhibits the development of sports in Uganda. The Bill seeks to repeal the National Council of Sports Act, Cap. 48 and provide for the role of the Uganda Olympic Committee.

The Bill provides offenses including doping, unlawful utilization of commercial rights, and the unlawful use of sports results for betting. It specifies the prohibited acts of violence and hooliganism and prohibits the unauthorized broadcast of sports events and competitions,” said Ogwang.

Under the Bill, the government proposes a fine of 100 million Shillings or imprisonment of 10 years or both for a person who manipulates sports results or the course of sports competition. According to the Bill, a person shall be taken to have manipulated sports results where he or she receives money or any reward to underperform or to withdraw from a sports competition, provides confidential information relating to a sport, promises or gives undue advantage to another, solicits or accepts undue advantage, predetermines a sports result, and being an adjudicator deliberately misapplies the rules.

A fine of Shillings 9.6 million or imprisonment of 10 years is proposed for a person who emotionally, financially, or sexually exploits a participant in a sports competition. The same penalty is also proposed for a person who commits an act of violence or hooliganism at a sports event.

Such acts include destruction or damage of property, physical injury to another, disturbing the peace and order at a sports competition, intentionally disrupting a sports competition, intimidating a sports personnel or official, and throwing a projectile or substance to such a person and inciting a person to do an act of violence.

A person convicted of one of these offenses shall, in addition to the penalty make good the loss and damage suffered and serve a ban from participating in or attending sports events and competitions for a period not exceeding 3 years.

Where an offense prescribed in the proposed Bill is committed by a body corporate, the proposed law gives the court powers to hold the principal officer liable for the offense and penalty prescribed. In addition to any penalty prescribed in the relevant provision, the court shall impose a penalty not exceeding 400 million Shillings on each count.

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