Update: Why we can’t finance Bash Ali’s proposed fight- Sports Minister

Bolaji Abdullahi

Sports Minister plans big for match fixers in Nigerian league.

The Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Bolaji Abdullahi, has announced the commission’s plans to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Ministry of Justice in a bid to curb match-fixing in the Nigerian League. He also spoke on the reason his ministry cannot fund a proposed boxing match involving Bash Ali.

“We are going to work with the EFCC and the ministry of Justice to punish whoever is guilty of Match fixing in the country, we want to develop the Football league in Nigeria,” Mr. Abdullahi said, while outlining the successes and functions of his ministry at the ministerial platform in Abuja.

He added that his ministry plans to develop the league so that home-based players will receive not less than N250, 000 monthly.

The minister also used the opportunity to address fervid calls by boxer, Bash Ali, on the government to sponsor a world title match in Nigeria that may see Ali becoming the oldest title winning boxer.

“The ministry doesn’t have a budget to fund such sports. Boxing matches are always funded by private individuals not government,” Mr. Abdullahi said.

He, however, did not comment on allegations of assault leveled against his aides by Ali.

The boxer had allegedly been manhandled by the Minister’s aides during an attempt by Ali to personally take his appeal to Mr. Abdullahi. A video showing security details of the minister manhandling the boxer has gone viral on social media.

The minister’s spokesperson, Julius Ogunro, had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES that the minister was not and did not give any instruction for the boxer to be manhandled.

“Bash Ali came and wanted to enter the meeting. As he wasn’t invited, he was denied entry and he wanted to impose himself on the minister by forcing his way in, so the security men escorted him out of the venue,” Mr. Ogunro said.

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