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Discordant Tunes as Edo “Ends” National Sports Festival

Edo State Government says it will end the ongoing National Sports Festival today due to lack of funds. The Federal Ministry of Sports has, however, refuted that the festival will end today.

Edo State Government through the Local Organising Committe released a statement on Wednesday which reads:

The Local Organising Committee, Edo2020 regrets to announce that it will end the games abruptly tomorrow, Thursday, April 8, 2021 for lack of funds. Rising from an emergency meeting this evening, the LOC says it has to take this hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games. Regrettably, the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support us as the host state financially for the cost of postponements. So, we are left with no option than to end the games at noon tomorrow.

Ebomhiana Musa, Project Manager, Media & Communications, Edo 2020.

Federal Ministry of Sports Statement

National Sports Festival in Benin Continues

The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.

The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.

The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.

For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.

Ramon Balogun
Assistant Director Press
Ministry of Youth and Sports Development
April 8, 2021

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