Chief Pat Ekeji, NSC DG
The football and cricket teams from Zamfara and Sokoto respectively have qualified the National Sports Festival (NSF).
Both are to represent National Sports Commission (NSC) Zone six (6) at the NSF to be hosted by Lagos State between Nov. 27 and Dec. 9.
They qualified on technical grounds. The Zamfara football team qualified because Kebbi soccer team was disqualified for abandoning the match.
The Sokoto cricket team on the other hand went through, having walked over Kebbi team.
The Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Shehu Gusau, explained in an interview with NAN in Birnin Kebbi Thursday that the zonal technical officials awarded the match to Zamfara because of pitch invasion.
The teams had a score line of 3-3 before fans of Kebbi invaded the pitch, forcing the abandonment of the match.
According to him, that result was cancelled and three points awarded to Zamfara.
“In line with rules, the three maximum points was awarded to Zamfara team after Kebbi fans forced the match to be abandoned,” he said.
Gusau said the Sokoto Cricket team also won on technical grounds after a `walk over’ against their Kebbi rivals.
In the handball event, Sokoto also emerged winners, when the match with Kebbi was abandoned because of Kebbi fans’ unruly conduct.
The zonal coordinator said the zone would organise a mini championship among teams that were qualified to represent the zone as part of efforts to ensure they would win laurels at the festival.
He said this would serve as pre-festival training, to help the teams to overcome match rustiness.
“Any state team that qualified would not be allowed to go to sleep as efforts by the zone would be intensified to ensure they adequately trained for the festival.”
NAN reports that the only the women basketball team from Kebbi would represent the zone at the festival.
Zamfara men’s basketball qualified having defeated Kebbi, 22-21 and Sokoto, 34-32.
The Sokoto women volleyball team defeated Kebbi two games to one (3-1, 0-3 and 2-1).
The Kebbi hockey team automatically qualified as the only state that presented a team.
The Kebbi Director of Sports, Alhaji Ibrahim Kamba, commended sports administrators from the zone for a peaceful determination of winner at the event.