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Directors blame governors as ministry postpones National Youth Games

By Gowon Akpodonor
18 January 2023   |   3:11 am
Directors of sports from across the country, yesterday, blamed state governors’ failure to release funds for the National Youth Games (NYG) as reason for the postponement of the competition earlier billed to hold in Asaba, Delta State, next month.

The seventh National Youth Games (NYG), earlier scheduled for February 8 to 18, 2023 in Delta State, have been postponed.

Directors of sports from across the country, yesterday, blamed state governors’ failure to release funds for the National Youth Games (NYG) as reason for the postponement of the competition earlier billed to hold in Asaba, Delta State, next month.

The Federal Ministry of Sports, yesterday, announced that the NYG, billed to hold at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, from February 8 to 18, 2023, has been postponed. It did not state the new date for the event.

Although the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, stated in a statement made available to The Guardian that the postponement is due to “logistics and time constraints, especially, taking cognisance of the commencement of the general elections slated for February 25, 2023,” some of the states directors of sports, said the major reason is their inability to secure the necessary funds to camp, train their athletes and also feature in the competition.

The hosting rights for the Games, which is the ground for discovering budding talents within the country, was awarded to Kano State at the end of the last edition in Ilorin, Kwara State, in 2021. But it has failed to see the light of the day.

Not ready to see the Games postponed again, the sports ministry decided to hand Delta State the hosting rights on January 5 after a meeting of stakeholders. It is expected to hold at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, from February 8 to 18.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that ministry and Delta State, as well as other stakeholders met, yesterday, to deliberate on key issues, particularly, the fear raised by some directors of sports that they are finding it ‘difficult’ to get fund from their governors to prepare their athletes for the Games.

“I know that Delta State is ready to host the Youth Games on the scheduled date of February 8 to 18, but there are some directors of sports, who are finding it difficult to access funds from their governors because of the coming general elections.”