The Local Organizing Committee, Edo2020 regrettably announced yesterday that it will end the games abruptly today Thursday, April 8, 2021, for lack of funds even though that has been clarified to end Friday 9th April 2021 at 12noon,
According to a press release signed by Ebomhiana Musa, Project Manager, Media & Communications, Edo 2020 rising from an emergency meeting yesterday evening, the LOC had to take this hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games as the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support the games as the host state financially for the cost of postponements hence the LOC is left with no option than to end the games at noon tomorrow.
However, in a swift reaction, the Federal 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.
In a counter press release signed by Ramon Balogun, Assistant Director Press, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development said 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.
Ramon disclosed that the Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary, and Directors are on the ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and they 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 maintaining as 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 statement concluded the MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.
Only time will tell if the 20th national sports festival will end as scheduled or abruptly due to lack of funds as indicated by the Edo State Government through a press release by the Local Organizing Committee.