The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival has again been postponed to April 2021.
The festival was scheduled to hold from February 14 to 28 in Benin City, the Edo State capital, before it suffered its latest postponement.
This decision was reached on Monday after the emergency meeting of the National Council on Sports convened by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who is the chairman of the council.
In attendance were the commissioners of youth and sports from the states of the federation and directors of Sports.
The Deputy Governor of Edo state who is also the chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the “Edo 2020” games, Philip Shaibu was also present at the meeting.
Before the announcement of this current postponement, the Festival was fixed February 14th – 28th. This is the fourth postponement the games will be suffering since its original date of March 21st to April 1st 2020.
This recent postponement was occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic and the paucity of funds.
The Edo Govt had requested for financial support due to the cost implications it suffered arising from the postponement. The accommodation prepared at the University of Benin was no longer available for the Athletes because students are back to school.
Rising from the meeting of the National Council on Sports, the Council resolved that it was best to shift the festival to a later date due to financial challenges raised by the host state and accommodation problems at the University of Benin.
According to the resolution of the council, the Federal Government, Edo State and the Council on Sports agreed that the festival will now hold in April since the earlier February date was no longer feasible.
The sports festival, which was initially billed for March 22 to April 2, 2020, has been continuously postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The festival was also slated for December 2020 before it was again moved to February 14 to 28.
About 11,000 athletes are expected to grace the sports festival.