COVID-19: National Sports Festival may not hold in Edo – Deputy Gov Philip Shaibu

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The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu hinted that the 2020 National Sports Festival may not be convenient for the State to host in January.

Shaibu said after a tour of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City, that the Sports Ministry and the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus (COVID-19) did not consult Edo State, before fixing the January date after the NSF was postponed from the 3 December, sparking an uproar by athletes and officials.

“We can’t host the National Sports Festival 3-17 January 2021. It is not feasible for us. Not because we are not ready infrastructure and logistics wise, but because it would be coming two days after the New Year festivities.”

“We were never consulted in fixing the new date, it was a decision from top to bottom and they were quite insensitive to the feelings of the athletes and officials,” said Shaibu.

He called for a meeting of the National Sports Council to meet and chart a new course for the NSF adding that Edo would be ready between March and April 2021.

The NSF was originally billed for March 2020, but it was hit by worldwide coronavirus sports postponements. A new date was fixed for 3-17 December and Edo State was ready to implement COVID-19 precautions. But the PTF on COVID-19 came out of the blues to announce another cancellation much to the chagrin of athletes and coaches nationwide.

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