Federal Government Says Sports Fiesta Continues Despite Edo’s Threat To Abort Games 

EDO 2020
Scenes from the opening ceremony of the National Sport festival at Edo state.

BEVERLY HILLS, April 08, (THEWILL) – Contrary to shutdown threats by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) Edo2020 hosted by the Edo State Government, the Federal Government on Thursday insisted that there will be no stopping the Games and the competitions will continue as scheduled.

Citing the lack of action on the part of the Federal Government to redeem its pledge to provide financial backing to support the host state due to the extra costs incurred because of the series of COVID-19 enforced postponements from last March, the LOC on Wednesday admitted that it was left with no choice than to abruptly bring the Games to an end by noon on Thursday.

In a rebuttal of that admission, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) said it was unaware of any officially sanctioned directive to end the Games prematurely.

Ramon Balogun, the spokesman for the FMYSD issued a statement that spoke to this issue. It read: “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.”

To clarify the weighty issues of cost bearing, the statement continued: “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.”