The 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged Edo 2020 has been postponed for the fourth time.
The festival originally scheduled to take place in February 14th to February 24th 2021 in Benin City, Edo State will now be staged in April later this year, though the date is not yet known.
The postponement was confirmed after the virtual meeting held by the Extra- Ordinary National Council on Sports (NCS) and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
Dare said the festival was postponed due to the nature of the second wave of COVID-19.
He said government will still be guided on the future date by the spread of the pandemic.
Recall, that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki earlier has said the state is ready to host the NSF but expressed fear of lack of funds to host 11,500 athletes and officials at the 20th edition of the sports meet.
The governor said COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the finances of various states and countries across the globe and Edo State is not left out.
In a chat with the Kogi State, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Idris Musa who was part of the virtual meeting said the postponement was necessary.
“One of the reasons why the game was postponed again was that the University of Benin that was supposed to house the athletes can’t because they have resumed academic activities, so they it wouldn’t be possible for Edo state to host the event when the students are on session “.
“In the meeting, we also told the sports minister that the federal government should give the states palliatives because funds are already been spent towards preparing the athletes and officials for the Games “.
On his part. The Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee and Edo State Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shuaibu said” I agree the Festival should hold before the Olympics to get our athletes fit and to secure points they require for the Olympics. Every postponement goes with a cost, but we are totally committed to hosting the festival. We are very expectant of the support of the Federal Government to make the Festival a reality”