FG postpones National Sports Festival till April 2021
The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival has again been postponed to April 2021.
The festival was scheduled to hold from February 14 to 28 in Benin City, the Edo State capital, before it suffered its latest postponement.
The decision was taken at the end of the National Council of Sports meeting held via Zoom on Monday.
General Manager, Ondo State Sports Council, Babatunde Henry, who was part of the meeting disclosed the outcome.
“We have come to the end of the meeting, the National Sports Festival has been postponed again till April”.
“We have not arrived at a definite date, but we are going to look at a convenient date in April 2021.
“The decision was accepted by all the members of the council, that it should be shifted, considering the possibility of raising funds.
You know the Federal Government has promised to assist Edo State in terms of funding and the money cannot be ready in the next one week.
“So, it has to be shifted from February to April, so that there will be enough planning for the Games and ensure that it is postponed again. But that April is very sacrosanct,” Hendy added.
Another source, who was at the meeting, but spoke on the condition of anonymity, also confirmed the postponement.
“The Federal Government is favourably looking at and disposed to holding the NSF in April subject to availability of funds.
Efforts to reach Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, John Joshua-Akanji, proved abortive.
He did not pick our correspondent’s call and was yet to reply the text message sent to his line as of the time of filing this report.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had earlier complained that the state lacked sufficient funds to host the sports festival due to the effect of COVID-19 on the finances of the state.
The sports festival, which was initially billed for March 22 to April 2, 2020, has been continuously postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival was also slated for December 2020 before it was again moved to February 14 to 28.
About 11,000 athletes are expected to grace the sports festival.