By Jacob Ajom
Former Captain of the Nigerian and West African Cricket teams, Professor Jide Bademosi, has called on the Federal Government to get rid of politicians in the administration of sports in the country.
Speaking with Vanguard in his Ibadan home early in the week, Professor Bademosi who turned 80, 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.
“They should get rid of politicians who want to interfere with the administration of sports in the country,” he said, at the interview which was part of events lined up to mark his 80th birthday.
Continuing, the former Nigerian national cricket team captain said in place of politicians, they should “Get people who are knowledgeable, who have a background in sports whether on academic or on practical basis.
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“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, things would be better.”
He recalled the step he took to ensure probity, when he was captain of the Oyo State cricket team.
“As captain of my team, I was supposed to be on $180 – $250 dollars 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 dollars a day. We asked some of them, why don’t you let go part of your allowances, put it in the kitty, along with mine and we distributed 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.
“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, then there will be a future,” he remarked.
He 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, heaping encomiums on the present leadership of the Nigeria Cricket Federation.
“Luckily now Cricket has some hope, some future as the 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.”