Posted by JUSTOURS
Again, Edo 2020 National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from Sunday, February 14- April 28 has been postponed. The new date is April. This decision was reached after the emergency meeting of the National Council on Sports convened by the Minister of Youth and Sports, who is the Chairman of Council.
Commissioners of Youth and Sports from the states and the directors of sports and also, the permanent secretaries attended the meeting. The Deputy Governor of Edo State was also in attendance.
This recent postponement was occasioned by the second wave of theCovid-19 pandemic and the paucity of funds. The Edo Government had requested for financial support due to the cost implications it suffered arising from the postponement. The accommodation prepared at the University of Benin was no longer available for the athletes because students have resumed.
Rising from the meeting of the National Council on Sports on Monday, Council resolved that it was best to shift the festival to a later date due to financial challenges raised by the host state, accommodation problems at the University of Benin due to the resumption of academic activities which would affect the camping of athletes.
According to the resolution of the council, the Federal Government, Edo State and the council on sports agreed that the Festival will now hold in April since the earlier February date was no longer feasible.
The Chairman of Council said “We have seen the Sports Festival postponed three times. As we speak now most of us should have arrived Edo State getting ready for February 14, Sunday to start the Edo 2020 Sports Festival.
“But flowing from our last meeting a few things came up. There was an undertone that the postponements have occasioned some financial difficulties and strains on the host state, and I dare say even on our part as the Ministry the postponements have also occasioned some financial difficulties.
“On the strength of this similar experience myself, His Excellency the Governor and also Deputy Governor have bounced ideas, the conversation, back and forth. Of course, when December came, we know that almost everything stopped but it was agreed that it was important to approach the Federal Government for financial support.
“I’m glad to report that the Federal Government is favourably disposed to assisting Edo State to host the Festival. In the next few day, we hope to push through the document through the Ministry of Finance to get the financial support to get the Festival on track.
“The February 14 date was not cast in stone as we wanted to avoid another postponement. But we must agree that the February 14th date is no longer feasible.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 Olympics,” he said.
Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee and Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu said: ” I agree the festival should hold before the Olympics to get our athletes fit and to secure points they require for the Olympics. Every postponement goes with a cost, but we are totally committed to hosting the festival.”
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