11-man Committee to Decide New Date for National Sports Festival

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare

Despite divergent views by members of the National Council of Sports which held yesterday, the general consensus has remained that the National Sports Festival should hold this year.

An 11-man committee has been set up to inspect all heath facilities for the festival in Edo State

The Commitee is made up of members of the Covid- 19 Task Force, NCDC, Commissioners of Sports from the six geo-political zones of the country and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Speaking during the virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare, contributors said although the Covid-19 pandemic was a source of concern, the sports Festival can go ahead if certain measures are put in place.

According to the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee who also doubles as Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu: ” We are ready to host the Festival, but other states may not be ready.

“The issue of health is something that we all take seriously. Isolation centres have been further expanded to bigger capacities. We have set up many testing centres that would screen athletes before and during games.”

The Minister said: “After more than more month of uncertainty, we need to chart a new course for our sports just like is been done globally.

“Our final decision will be based on consultations with the Ministry of Health and the National Task Force on Covid-19.

A representative of the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Paul Bassey also shared the position of getting health officials involved in deciding if the Games should hold.

“A health committee should be set up to work with the NCDC and the Ministry of Health to determine the possibility of the Festival taking place,” observed the veteran sports journalist.

While some members of the online conference were of he views that the Festival should hold before the Edo State election, others insisted that it should be moved till after the election.