The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, has ordered the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and the sub-committee in charge of the screening of athletes at the ongoing National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba to resolve the contentious issues over the adoptation of facial recognition to determine athletes’ eligibility.
The 7th NYG witnessed mild drama during the two days screening exercise held after the arrival date on Thursday, 14th September 2023 as the screening officials resorted to the use of facial screening to decide the age of some athletes instead of the use of the National Identification Number, NIN or birth certificate.
Daily Trust gathered that some of the athletes that failed the screening conducted by the use of facial observation had to seek the intervention of their state Directors of Sports.
In a bid to restore sanity, the Minister of Sports who spoke in an interview with newsmen said he had informed the committee in charge of screening to use the NIN to clear the doubts over the real age of the affected athletes.
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“The screening that is supposed to happen here in Asaba is not just a one off thing, in different states, a lot of things have happened.
“It is also important for me to say that I have already instructed that as much as possible, whatever doubts that might exist as a result of not using the National Identification Number (NIN) be resolved by the use of NIN,” he said.
He promised that the ministry is not going to abandon the athletes after their participation at the sporting event.
“The key element of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) is in terms of infrastructures, incentives and investment. So our hope is that by the time the NSIP will be implemented, it will be so revolutionary that it will fill up everywhere as regards the needed resources to build the facilities,” he said.
In a related development, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Grassroot sports, Anthony Adeyinka, assured the commitment of the ministry to resuscitate the infrastructure in the country especially at the rural level.