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Amos Adamu praises Edo State, condemns use of mercenaries to win medals

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Former Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Amos Adamu, has commended the Edo State government for the state-of-the-art facilities it provided for the 20th National Sports Festival. 
 
Speaking to The Guardian on Monday, Adamu, who came to the University of Benin Sports Complex main bowl to watch the football final between Team Edo and Lagos, said the Festival was going on well as expected, adding that he was particularly happy that some primary and higher institutions of learning also benefitted from hosting the festival.
 
“The Edo State government has tried by putting on these facilities and I am happy that they even went to some secondary schools and University of Benin to upgrade the facilities there.

“What is very important is the sports facilities and if you don’t have them you cannot perform well. But government has provided facilities,” he said, adding that the country has the population to produce enough athletes for any competition in the country.
 

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“Manpower is not our problem, we have the population in Nigeria and you can get athletes at anytime to compete for your state when the facilities are good. When you have coaches, then you have champions,” he said.
 
Adamu condemned some states’ penchant to hire mercenaries to win medals, describing as unfortunate the alleged deployment of a Kenyan by one of the states to compete in the 10,000 metres race.

He said, “You cannot stop athletes from moving to other states to compete during the National Sports Festival. There is a law against it.

“You know why you cannot stop it? It is because there are some states that do not show interest in sports, and that is why they don’t even train their athletes. It is only when the Festival comes that they want to send athletes to the sports festival.
 
“And they must look for athletes here and there to compete for their states. Those are the states that are causing problems. And you know we don’t have data in this country that says this athlete is from here or there. 
 
“It is just like when you have football players, just because we don’t have the data showing the date of births, somebody will be claiming 17 years of age once he is smallish when he is actually 30 years old. And he will come and present his certificate of birth that says he is 17 years old.
 
“You’re not his parents to know that and you cannot know it; so they cheat.

“The idea of states bringing athletes from other states or from anywhere to compete for them is not good for the development of sports in Nigeria. But what can we do?” he queried.

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