COVID-19, lack of funds shift National Sports Festival to April | Dailytrust

COVID-19, lack of funds shift National Sports Festival to April

National Sports Festivals
National Sports Festivals

The resurgence in the cases of COVID-19 in the country and apparent lack of funds are said to be responsible for the latest shift in date of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival billed for Edo State.

The Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare yesterday announced that the festival earlier scheduled to hold from February 14th -28th has been postponed and will hold in April.

He said the decision was reached after the virtual emergency meeting of the National Council on Sports attended by Commissioners of Youth and Sports, State Directors of Sports, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of sports as well as the Deputy governor of Edo State, Hon. Philip Shaibu..

According to the minister, the Council resolved that it was best to shift the Festival to a later date due to complaints of financial challenges and accommodation problems raised by the host state.

He, however, dropped the hint that the Federal Government is favourably disposed to assisting Edo State to host the Festival.

Dare said “In the next few days, we hope to push through the document to the Ministry of Finance to get the financial support to get the festival on track.

“The importance of the festival cannot be over emphasized. The idea of not holding the Festival should be thrown out completely. It is an Olympics year, it would help shape the athletes for the 2020 Olympics,” he stated.

It will be recalled that the latest shift in date is the fourth postponement suffered by the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival.

It was first slated for March 20th-April 1st but postponed on March 17 as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.

The festival was then slated for 18th December 2020 but moved to January 3rd -18, 2021 and again shifted to February 14th -28th, 2021 before yesterday’s postponement.

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