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Politicians killing our sports, says ex-cricket boss Professor Bademosi

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Former captain of Nigerian and West African Cricket teams, Professor Jide Bademosi, wants Federal Government to get rid of politicians in the administration of sports in the country.

Speaking with journalists in his Ibadan home, Professor Bademosi, who turned 80 yesterday, said it was unfortunate that people who had no business running sports were occupying sensitive positions and taking decisions that affect the everyday life of athletes in the country.

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“Our government should get rid of politicians who want to interfere with the administration of sports in the country,” he said. The interview was part of events lined up to mark his 80th birthday.

Speaking further, the former Nigerian national cricket team captain suggested that in place of politicians, the government should get people who are knowledgeable, and with a good background in sports whether on an academic or on a practical basis.

“And more importantly, probity. If you cut away all those fringes like Senators, friends and all those who see every sporting event as a jamboree, where you pay one individual estacode that would be enough to pay the whole team, I am sure things would be better.”

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He recalled the step he took to ensure probity when he was captain of Oyo State cricket team saying: “As captain of my team, I was supposed to be on $180 – $250 a day, but as a player, I was supposed to be paid $6 dollars a day. Yet they wanted me to take more officials, who would have been paid $180 a day. We asked some of them, why don’t you donate part of your allowances, put it in the kitty, along with mine, and distribute it among the players.

But that is on a personal basis as either a captain or a player.”

He said the excess money was distributed among the players who were all happy to give their best.

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“If we have such strict adherence to probity and justifiable administration of funds, and those who know enough, not because they want to be there for the largesse, there will be a future,” he stated.

Professor Bademosi praised the efforts of cricketers both old and young, who have invested their time and resources in the development of the sport in the country, just as he heaped encomiums on the present leadership of Nigeria Cricket Federation.

“Luckily now, Cricket has some hope and some future. President Professor Yahaya Ukwenya and Uyi Akpata with his Banking and Insurance background, have been able to attract the corporate community and well-meaning individuals to support the sport.”

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