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We’re ready to host National Sports Festival, says Shaibu

THE Deputy Governor of Edo State and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the 20th National Sports Festival, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has given reassurances that the event will be held in the state.

He dismissed rumours that the festival would moved to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which hosted the last edition in 2018.

Shaibu was led by the Director of Facilities, Edo State Sports Commission, Victor Edokpayi, to inspect facilities for the sports festival, and reiterated that games would begin in Benin on 2 April as scheduled.

The Deputy Governor also visited Team Edo at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium where the athletes were being tested and vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), ahead of the festival.

Shaibu said: “The rumours that the Federal Ministry of Sports wants to take the games from Edo to Abuja is not true as the Minister and the Permanent Secretary have denied it.

“I spoke with the minister who said he didn’t release any such statement, likewise the PS. Edo State is hosting for the love of the nation and national interest to help our athletes shape up to win at the Tokyo Olympics.”

The Deputy Governor emphasised the state’s readiness to host the multi-sport event.

“We are hopeful that the games will go on but only to the extent that we are funded. We are ready,” he noted.

“We have gone round the facilities because we believe that we will be funded; that is why the competition equipment is being unveiled and installed.

“The equipment for Edo 2020 is the latest and the type that will be used at the Tokyo Olympics, which is why the contingents will be camping in Edo. We are ready.”

He added the state has concluded the vaccination of Edo athletes who are going through PCR screening for Covid-19.

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