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Unlike the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and some other global sporting events that have either been cancelled or at risk of either cancellation or postponement, Nigeria’s Sports minister, Sunday Dare has declared that the country’s National Sports Festival which begins this month will not suffer any postponement despite the recording of a coronavirus case in the country.

Speaking through the Director of Planning and a member of the Main Organizing Committee Peter Nelson, Dare remarked: “The 2020 Edo National Sports Festival is on track. The Games will go on as scheduled. There is nothing to be worried about.

“The Minister has directed the setting up of an isolation centre to take care of any case of the virus. The Director of Sports Medicine is working closely with the Edo State Government to ensure a hitch free festival. We have no doubt that everything will work well.”

Nelson insisted that “the rumour about postponing the festival is unfounded and emanating from mischievous people whose wish cannot come to pass. We are on top of the situation and we are going to have a very successful festival”

He further assured that the Ministry embarked on an inspection last week and all the facilities are almost ready with finishing touches being put in some.


To underscore the importance and readiness for the Games, the Minister had met last week with officials of the Ministry of Health and a delegation of WHO to collaborate on  how to curb communicable diseases like tuberculosis and  other viral infections .

The Edo 2020 National Sports Festival is billed to hold from March 22nd to April 1st.

Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee and Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu said “Edo State is ready to host the best Festival in history of our country. With this festival, sports is coming  to it’s ancestral place. We are on track for a great Games”.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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