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Edo 2020 sports festival committee begins tour of facilities

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The postponed Edo 2020 National Sports Festival may get a new date soon if the 11-man committee set up by the Sports Ministry to look at a possible new time-table for the event is satisfied with the measures put in place by the host state to guide against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee is expected to arrive in Benin City today to commence a four-day tour of the facilities.

The festival was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic about three days to its commencement in Benin City, Edo State capital.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the chairman of Edo 2020 Sports Festival committee, Tony Okowa, who is also the chairman of the Delta Sports Commission, hinted that even though the committee had the standard, it was necessary to inspect the facilities and examine the measures put in place to determine they it meet the requirement needed to safeguard the athletes, officials and other citizens from contacting or spreading the virus during the festival.

“All the relevant agencies are in this committee,” Okowa said. “We have the standard, but it is very important we inspect the facilities to know if certain measures to fight against COVID-19 are in place. We want to know if holding the sports festival soon will further compound the situation we already have in hand. Is it possible to hold the sports festival, and people won’t contact or spread the virus?

“At the end of our four-day (June 9 to 3) inspection in Benin City, if what we are looking for are in place, we will then recommend that it is doable. But if they are not there, we will tell the government what to do regarding Edo 2020 sports festival,” Okowa stated.

The 11-man committee is made up of members of the COVID-19 Task Force (NCDC), Ministry of Health, Agency for Disease Control, Commissioners of Sports from the six geo-political zones of the country and representatives of the Sports Ministry.

While some stakeholders are pushing for the sports festival to hold before the Edo State governorship election, others are of the opinion that it should be held after the election.


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COVID-19Tony Okowa
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