Edo 2020 National Sports Festival Suffers Another Setback, Fix April As New Date

Sunday Dare, Minister Of Youth & Sports Development

The Edo 2020 National  Sports Festival  earlier  scheduled  to hold  from February 14th- 28th has  suffered another setback as April has been set as the new date for the event.

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.

The Minister explained that this recent postponement was occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic and the paucity of funds as the Edo Government had requested for financial support due to the cost implications it suffered arising from the postponement.

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.

According to the chairman of Council and Minister of Youth and sports Development Mr Sunday Dare “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 knew 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 days, we hope to  push the document  through to the Ministry  of Finance to get the financial  support to get the Festival  on track”.

The February  14th 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.”

On his part, The 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. We are very expectant  of the support of the Federal Government  to make the Festival  a reality”.

In attendance were Commissioners Of Youth and Sports from the 36  states of the federation and the FCT, Directors of Sports and the Deputy Governor of Edo state Philip Shuaibu.

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