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Edo ‘ready to host’ Sports Festival but ‘no fund’ for execution –Obaseki

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National Sports Festival

The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) is yet to have a known date as the Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki has lamented lack of funds to host the games.

The Sports fiesta, which was originally scheduled to hold between March 22nd and April 3rd, 2020 in Benin City, was postponed indefinitely as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Athletes and other stakeholders have waited patiently with the hope that a special arrangement would be put in place for the festival to hold under some established protocols.

But Governor Obaseki, who received members of the organizing committee on Tuesday, said the pandemic had affected the finances of the state, and as such, hosting the games would not be feasible at this time.

“For us as a state, we are ready to host but don’t have the funds at this point in time to host the Games; this is the plain truth,” the Governor was quoted by the Punch.

Read Also: Sports Festival to hold if COVID-19 Taskforce approves —Minister

Obaseki, however did not erase the possibility of having the event hosted in Edo as planned, if only the Federal Government would fund it.

“If the Federal Government however in its wisdom decides to bring the funding for the Games, we will be too willing to host the country,” he continued

“We have to live with COVID-19 because it has come to stay; even with the vaccination, the virus will still be around.

“Cancelling the Games is not the solution to this issue. We have to sit down and look at all these issues critically before reaching a final decision.”

The Governor went on to give reasons why the Festival should hold as he talked about is as a platform on which the Nigerian contingent to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics would prepare for the global games.

It is yet to be known whether or not the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports development would heed to the call.

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