Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has informed that a meeting with the National Council on Sports – the highest sports decision-making body in the country – will determine the new date for the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged Edo 2020.
The 2020 NSF earlier scheduled to run from 22 March to 1 April in Benin City, the Edo State capital, was postponed indefinitely over fears of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
A planned meeting between the Sports Minister and the National Council on Sports to access the impact of the postponement, among other things, was equally shifted due to the Coronavirus guidelines that prohibit a large gathering of people in the country.
Speaking in Abuja over the weekend, Mr Dare disclosed he expects to meet with the supreme sports decision-making body sometime next month to access the situation and decide when the biennial sports festival will be staged.
“I’d called for the National Council on Sports; I called for a meeting last week, but we had to put it off because we realized that it was going to be a gathering of about 130 people, and we did not want to go against the directives given, which is 50 people per gathering,” the Sports minister informed.
“The National Council on Sports is the highest sports decision-making body in the country, So, we hope that after the two weeks or three weeks break; sometime before the end of April, the National Council on Sports will meet as a body, will review the impact of the postponement, will be briefed by health experts about the trend (of Coronavirus), whether we have reached a table, whether it is declining.
“We will also look at what is available in terms of health facilities, surveillance and the rest that needs to be put in place for the NSF. So, it’s going to be a process. I want to leave that decision to the National Council on Sports.”
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 34, 000 lives globally, has more than 100 confirmed cases in Nigeria.
Its control in the country will, to a large extent, determine the staging of the 2020 Sports Festival.