Following several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20th National Sports Festival officially kicks off today in Benin, Edo State.
According to the schedule released by the Local Organising Committee, the ‘Nigerian Olympic’ will begin with 13 sports out of 38 sports in total.
Badminton which is the first game will take place at the Sports Hall, Etele Gymnasium while boxing holds at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Center, Airport Road.
Cricket and cycling will take the center stage at Adolor College Ugbowa and Airport Road, Aruaga GRA, Benin respectively.
Handball, hockey, Judo, Karate, Kickboxing and Kokowa , scrabble, squash, swimming, taekwondo and tennis are other events scheduled to start today at different centers in the state such as Sam Ogbemudia stadium, St Maria Gorreti College, Dumez Road amongst others.
Meanwhile, Taraba and Oyo States have been disqualified from the Games for failing to conduct COVID-19 and vaccination tests for athletes and officials before traveling to the venue of the competition according to the Director, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Edo State, Dr. Bruce Osha.
Bruce added that the two states and others who failed to follow the laid down procedures will be readmitted if they can go back to their states and conduct the two tests for athletes and officials.
The Festival is scheduled to end on April 15, 2021.