2020 Sports Festival: Sports Ministry Explains Rational Behind February 14-18 New Dates …Keeps Mum On January Dates

2020 Sports Festival: Sports Ministry Explains Rational Behind February 14-18 New Dates   …Keeps Mum On January Dates

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By Amaechi Agbo

It appears for the last time that a new date has finally been fixed for the 2020 National Sports Festival NSF, scheduled to hold in Benin, Edo State

The ministry of youth and sports Tuesday announced the latest dates for the festival to be from 14 to 28 February, 2021.

Explaining the rational for the new dates, the ministry through its Permanent Secretary said the new dates were arrived at following a virtual meeting of the National Council on Sports, NCS held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

According the release signed by the permanent secretary, Mr Gabriel Aduda, it notes that
“The National  Council on Sports under the chairmanship of the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare at an Extra- Ordinary Council on Sports Virtual meeting held today 15th December 2020, unanimously agreed to host the NSF 2020 on 14- 28th 2021.

“Justifying the reasons behind the postponement from the initial date of 3rd-18th December 2020; the Hon. Minister explained to members of Council the need for better precautionary measures against COVID19 bearing in mind the expected influx of holiday makers during the festive period, as agreed between the Ministry, the Presidential Task Force on COVID19 and the Host State.

“Recall that the National Sports Festival tagged ‘EDO 2020’ was originally slated to hold early this year ( precisely March) but for the outbreak of the COVID-19 which necessitated the Postponement and  suspension   of all sporting activities to guard against the spread of the corona virus  nationwide,” statement reads

Ministry silent on January dates

It could be recalled that on November 27, 2020, the 20th edition of the festival scheduled to hold in Benin, the Edo State capital was shifted from December to January 3rd to 17, 2021.

And despite a circular from the ministry circulating to this effect, we gathered that the release was an internal memo meant for the ministry and other agencies in the sports administration.

A source told our reporter that the January date was agreed on, nonetheless but noted that “As at the time the came out to the public, the ministry was shocked.

“So that was why they referred to other dates in their latest release but remained mute on that. Whatever is the case, this is the last time the festival will be shifted,” the source stated.

Followers, stakeholders and athletes remain cautiously optimistic that this would be the last time the festival would be shifted.

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