The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kisarazu City, Japan which outlined the plans of the ministry to camp Team Nigeria in the city for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare who jointly signed the MoU with the Mayor of Kisarazu City, Yoshikuni Watanabe, noted that the development tallies with the new direction of early preparation for tournaments.
Speaking at the occasion of the signing at his office in Abuja, Dare said: “About three weeks ago, Nigeria started in earnest its Olympics preparations. We had waited for the completion of the Doha Athletics Championship before starting officially our preparations.
“We have less than 9 months and where the pre-games camping will take place is critical to our preparations for Tokyo 2020.
“I’m glad that this morning we are able to follow up on initiatives of previous Ministers and Ambassadors who have acted rightly on behalf of this country,” he added.
The Minister also expressed gratitude to the Mayor for keeping faith with the proposal initiated under the previous administration, adding that Nigeria with the rest of the world looks forward to Tokyo 2020.
Highlighting the importance of the visit, Mr. Dare said, “this meeting offers us an opportunity to formalize the pre-games camping with the city of Kisarazu, so even after the MOU, there are still a couple of issues we have to work on together, but the MOU establishes an understanding with the City and also the country of Nigeria. I have read the MOU, it is in good faith and we trust that that good faith will pervade the entire period that that would be engaged.
“We are still coming up with a list of sports that would be camped in Kisarazu, so we will provide needed information going forward, and we should perhaps from now on a weekly basis try to maintain the feedback so as to be on the same page,” he urged.
The Minister praised Japan for its preparedness to host the world, saying although he has not been to Japan, everyone who visited brought back nice words about the beauty of the country and it’s preparedness to host the Olympics and the world, and that the Ministry looks forward to a successful pre-games camping and also a very successful Olympics itself.
Mayor Yoshikuni Watanabe, expressed gratitude to the Minister for hosting the delegation, adding that his city is proud identity with Nigeria because of its football-loving nature.