Team Lagos enter camp ahead Edo 2020 National Sports FestivalSport — The  Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


Veteran sports journalist Smarts Ebhodaghe has said the 2020 National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020 should be put on hold due to the prevailing circumstances.

The festival was scheduled to hold in Benin City, the Edo State capital in March, but was postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of COVID-19.

However, a statement from the Media Office of the sports minister Friday refuted reports that the event had been postponed.

The statement added that consultations were ongoing between the ministry, the Edo State Government, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the National Council on Sports to decide a new date for the festival.

“The fake news that the festival has been postponed indefinitely must have emanated from a false source,” the statement quoted sports minister Sunday Dare as saying.

“While we are committed to holding the festival, we do not want to endanger the lives of athletes and officials.

“We are considering a staggered festival spanning several weeks, and athletes batched, no fans and strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.”

But Ebhodaghe said despite the reduction in the number of daily infections in the country, the health authorities had continuously advised that precautions be taken to avoid a second wave of infections.

“This is the reason full-scale sporting activists have not resumed across the country,” Ebhodaghe said in a statement.

“This is not the first time the National Sports Festival would be postponed in its history, especially as this latest postponement is on force majeure. After the 18th edition hosted by Lagos State in 2012, the festival suffered multiple postponements until it eventually held in 2018 with its accompanying fanfare.

“If the biggest global sporting gathering, the Olympics, earlier billed for 2020 in Tokyo, Japan could be postponed till 2021 on the account of the same COVID-19, why the rush by Nigeria to host its national games? The postponement is in the best interest of everyone that has one thing or the other to do with the games actively or passively.”



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