The Control and Legal Service under the Ministry of Public Education revealed that in the Jizzakh province more than 272 million soums were deducted from teachers’ wages to finance the local Sogdiana FC, the ministry said.
On November 2, the Jizzakh province governor signed an order No. 360-f “On strengthening the financial and technical base of Sogdiana professional football club”, according to which, charitable clean-up days were held on November 3-4 in the province, during which the one-day revenue of employees of entities, departments and other organizations had to be transferred “on voluntary basis” to the Sogdiana FC’s bank account.
the football club allegedly received 272,156,700 soums deducted from teachers’ salaries alone.
The MPE notes that the governor’s order is contrary to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 349 “On Additional Measures to Eradicate Forced Labor in Uzbekistan” dated May 10, according to which nationwide charitable clean-up days can be held only if there is a presidential decree or government order.
The Control and Legal Service has ensured the repeal of the governor’s order. Measures are being taken to return the sums that have been illegally transferred to the Sogdiana accounts, the report says.
It should be noted that this is not the isolated case, for many many years senior executives in various provinces have declared “charitable” clean-up days with a “voluntary” transfer of one-day salary for different purposes. The Labor Authority of the Employment Ministry sent an order to the province governor to bring the decision in compliance with the law and the inadmissibility of forced labor.
The vast majority of football clubs in Uzbekistan are not financially profitable and are owned by the state and are attached to provincial governor’s offices, oil & gas, mining companies, the likes of Almalyk Mining Plant, Shurtan GCC, Navoi Mining Plant, UzTransGaz and etc.