Edo Sports festival: Confusion as FG, Edo govt clash over fund
Athletes and officials at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State say they are confused over the conflicting information passed by the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Local Organizing Committee.
Some of the athletes and officials who spoke to our correspondent lamented that they are at crossroads on whether to prepare to contest or pack their belongings.
According to them, some of the LOC officials have stopped attending to them at the venue of the competition.
Our correspondent gathered that activities at the festival went on low-key when the news of the postponement spread Thursday morning.
“We don’t even know what is going on again. We are all confused here. I hope that things will get clearer after 12noon,” an official told our correspondent on the telephone.
The confusion began when the LOC announced that the festival will end abruptly by 12 noon over the Federal Government’s failure to release funds.
A few hours after the LOC announcement, the sports ministry insisted that the festival would continue.
The Coordinator of Media and Publicity, National Sports Festival, Ebomhiana Musa, had in a statement on Wednesday night, said the decision to end the competition was taken at an emergency meeting of the Local Organising Committee headed by Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
Musa said, “The Local Organising Committee, Edo2020 regrets to announce that it will end the games abruptly tomorrow, Thursday, April 8, 2021, for lack of funds.
“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 but to end the games at noon tomorrow.”
Reacting, the federal government in a statement by Ramon Balogun, Assistant Director Press Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday morning, said, “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.
“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.”