The 20th National Sports Festival, is now set to hold from January 3 to 17.
The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, John Joshua-Akanji, confirmed the new date of the NSF to one of our correspondent on Thursday.
It was reported on Tuesday reported that the NSF had been postponed till next year, as the ministry did not get approval from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to hold the multi-sports competition.
But on Thursday evening, a decision was reached after a virtual meeting between the PTF, The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, that the event should hold in adherence to the COVID-19 protocols. “There is a new date for the National Sports Festival,” Joshua-Akanji said. “The event will hold from January 3-17.”
One of our correspondents had gathered that some athletes were planning a protest march to the sports ministry on Monday over the shifting of the sports festival.
Athletes’ representatives on the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Charles Himah confirmed this on Thursday. The shifting of the NSF to 2021 was the second time the sports ministry was shifting the fiesta after it was initially moved to December 3 to 18.
The NSF was initially billed to hold between March 22 to April 1 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin, but was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Himah said that the athletes had mobilized to gather in Abuja on Monday.
“The athletes want to protest their future. Sports have a limited age you can do it. From age 30, sports begin to look meaningless to someone if he or she has not achieved.
“We plead with the PTF for an urgent solution to avoid the athletes coming together on a peaceful protest due to the stories surrounding the NSF Edo 2020,” Himah said.