It would be impossible to for the National Sports Festival to hold this year Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the games Philip Shaibu said on Tuesday.
Shaibu’s revelation on TVC News puts to bed any lingering uncertainty about the fate of the games which was supposed to commence on 3 December in Edo State.
The multi-sport event also known as ‘Edo 2020’ was initially scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the lifting of restrictions on contact sports in October, the National Sports Council and the LOC fixed 3-18 December for the commencement of the event subject to approval by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
However, that approval has yet to be communicated to the LOC less than two weeks to the proposed start date with several media reports suggesting the PTF had proposed another postponement.
In light of the lack of clarity surrounding the status of the National Sports Festival, Shaibu said it would be unrealistic to expect the event to still hold this year and laid the blame on the PTF.
Shaibu, who is also the Deputy Governor of Edo State said there would be insufficient time to adequately address logistical challenges of camping athletes and ensuring proper preparations.
“Yeah, my it’s actually late to have this tournament, it’s very late to have this tournament, this year,” Shaibu said in response to whether the games would hold if the PTF were to grant approval ‘in the next 24 hours’.
“If they are not able to give us green light, it’s definitely going to be impossible to have it this year, I can tell you that because, you will need the state to camp their athletes.
“For us in Edo state, our plan was to have our athlete camp for 15 days, and assuming they didn’t give us another date now, 18 days to festive period it will not be a good time for camping, and other states may want to camp their athletes for one month, because they have not been training.
“So this year obviously we should just forget about having the tournament this year, not because we are not ready to host, but because of the logistics issue by the Presidential Task Force.”