Former Nigeria Sports minister, Solomon Dalung, says the upcoming staggered National Sports Festival scheduled to begin on December 3, 2020, in Benin City, Edo state, will not meet the pedigree and quality of what the festival was designed to achieve since its inception.
Dalung disclosed this to Sports Yarn Class (SYC) on Thursday while giving his assessment of the planned hosting of the festival under the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The festival going on in the midst of a pandemic, I think we are only just trying to score cheap political gains against a national public health status which is not in line with international best practices”.
“There’s no way you can organize a National Sports Festival without guidelines to curtail Covid-19”. “To me, we need proper planning to achieve the aims and objectives of the national sports festival which is all about national unity. Anything short of not bringing the entire country together or sports fraternity can not be a national sports festival”.
“So, going ahead with the plans to stage the event without taking the aforementioned into consideration will be what I call a caricature national sports festival that will be heavily beclouded with political ambitions”.
“I say this because not all the actors of the federating units will participate and where all stakeholders will come together as a re-union, because the festival is a re-union of stakeholders, athletes and the entire sports family., and that is not possible under the present circumstances”.
“Finally, I will code-name it ‘CNSF’ which means Caricature National Sports Festival”, Dalung concluded.