FG Bows To Pressure, Postpones NSF Indefinitely Over Coronavirus
By Amaechi Agbo
The federal government of Nigeria Tuesday bowed to local and global pressure and indefinitely postponed the 20 edition of National Sports Festival, NSF, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
the competition, scheduled to hold in Benin, Edo state capital was expected to commence on Friday this week.
the postponement comes after many Nigerians including journalists have called for its suspension following growing worries over the pandemic virus, coronavirus ravaging some countries.
“President Muhammadu Buhari approved the postponement of the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020 as a precautionary move against COVID-19 spread”, a statement from the office of the minister of youth and sports development, read.
The President’s decision followed the close monitoring and updates on COVID-19 in Nigeria and across the world.
Prior to Mr President’s directive, the Ministry had in consultations with the Federal Ministry of Health and the host of the 20th National Sports Festival – the Edo State Government over the COVID-19 pandemic noted the progress otherwise made towards delivering a world class sporting fiesta as embodied by Edo 2020 and the huge resources so far expended towards hosting the festival.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is not presently affecting Nigeria on the scale it is ravaging other countries of the world, the Ministry is however in agreement with these aforementioned critical stakeholders that the wellbeing of our athletes and sports loving Nigerians is of paramount importance. They should be alive and in safe health to keep training and participating in future tournaments.
In the interest of the safety of Nigerians, the Ministry has therefore postponed the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, until a later date to be communicated.
Nigeria is reported, Tuesday to have had three cases of coronavirus. Countries in the world including USA, France, Italy and Britain have reportedly banned public gathering and schools closed as a result of wide spread of coronavirus which has claimed thousands of lives globally.