Bash Ali is on his own; we cannot sponsor his world title match – Sports Minister declares

Days after video showing security operatives attached to him rough-handled veteran boxer, Bash Ali, Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Bolaji Abdullahi, has declared that the Ministry cannot afford to fund the proposed fight.
Speaking in Abuja while listing functions and achievements of his Ministry at the ministerial platform to mark President Jonathan’s two years in office, Abdullahi also announced the commission’s collaboration with the EFCC, and the Ministry of Justice to curb match-fixing in the Nigerian League.

“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.

He added that his ministry plans to develop the league so that home-based players will earn at least N250, 000 monthly.
On Bash Ali’s call on the government to sponsor a world title match in Nigeria, that may see him becoming the oldest title winning boxer, the Minister said “The ministry doesn’t have a budget to fund such sports. Boxing matches are always funded by private individuals not government.”

Abdullahi was however silent on the footage which showed the boxer being manhandled by gun-trotting mobile police officers, during Ali’s attempt to personally talk to him.

The minister’s spokesperson, Julius Ogunro, who reacted to the development stated that his boss 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 and was denied entry as 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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