Sport

National Sports Festival To Go On As Planned – FG Insists

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The Federal Government has cleared the air following the news that the ongoing National Sports Festival at Benin City, Edo State will be suspended today.

In a statement signed by the Assistant Director of Press, Ramon Balogun, on Thursday, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development made this clarification, refuting a recent statement by the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

The LOC on Wednesday night announced that it will end the festival abruptly today, Thursday, April 8, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to release funds for the event.

“Regrettably, the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support us as the host state financially for the cost of postponements. So, we are left with no option but to end the games at noon tomorrow (Thursday),” Ebomhiana Musa, Project Manager, Media & Communications of Edo 2020, said.

However, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development said itself and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival were unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival.

“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication,” the statement read.

“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.”

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