With just nine days to the commencement of the National Sports Festival, tagged ‘Edo 2020’, the event is surrounded with doubts on whether or not it will hold as scheduled for between February 14th to 28th.
Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki last week said that the state was not buoyant enough to host the multi-sports event, raising speculations in some quarters that festival may have been dealt a final blow.
In it’s statement, Edo State government said: ‘Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the finances of various states and countries across the globe and Edo State is not left out.
‘Cancelling the game is not the solution to this issue. Beyond the Games itself, there is the Tokyo Olympics to consider. We have to sit down and look at all these issues critically before reaching a final decision.’
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development is said to be in a fix on the possibility of providing the funds needed to host the Sports Festival.
The festival was initially scheduled for March 2020, but was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the lifting of restrictions on contact sports in October, the National Sports Council and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) fixed December 3rd to 18th for the commencement of the event subject to approval by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
The PTF, however, failed to grant approval, leading to strong criticism from the Edo state governmet.