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Edo has raised festival standard, says LOC secretary


National Sports Festival

Secretary-general of the local organising committee (LOC) for the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa, has praised the level of competition and organisation of the games, saying the current edition has raised the standard of the games.

Igbinosa, who competed at the maiden edition in 1973, said Edo has brought glamour and redefined the festival.

“This is the first time we are having 39 sports in the festival. It is also the first time we are competing on brand new facilities, which has never happened in the history of the festival, apart from Lagos 1973. It is also the first time a deputy governor will be registered in a festival and actually participated in football.

“This is also the first festival that spectators are not allowed in due to COVID-19, which has changed the face of the festival.”


Igbinosa, a former secretary general of Handball Federation of Nigeria, confirmed that 5,665 athletes and 928 officials, comprising federations’ secretaries and coaches were accredited for the games.

He revealed that plans were underway to contract the numerous facilities to a private firm for effective maintenance, adding, “immediately after the games, we will hand them over to a private firm for maintenance.

“This facilities are legacies of the festival and we intend to host more local and international events.

“The mainbowl is the first to have VAR equipment in the country; we have four tennis courts plus the centre court, which can meet International Tennis Federation (ITF) standard. The athletics track was installed by Mundo… our swimming pool is Olympic size plus the warm up pool.

“We are proud of these facilities which will keep our youths busy and further confirm Edo’s position as Nigeria’s sports headquarters.”

Kaduna beat Plateau to grab handball bronze
Kaduna State increased their medals haul yesterday by beating Plateau State to win the handball event women’s bronze medal. The Kada girls were in total control of the game from the beginning and it was not surprise as they won 24 to 17 against a determined Plateau State.


Speaking after the game, Coach Ahmed Chizo commended his team for a sterling performance, saying, “After our semifinal defeat, we vowed to leave Benin with the bronze medal and we are happy with this feat, which is an improvement compared to the last festival in 2018 where we finished fourth.

Handball boss lauds Edo 2020 facilities Handball
Federation of Nigeria (HFN) President, Samuel Ocheho, is thrilled with the state of art facilities at Edo 2020 National Sports Festival.

Speaking at the University of Benin Sports Complex, venue of handball event, Ocheho said the facilities provided for the games were standard, but he called on future hosts of the festival to provide indoor hall for handball.

“The facilities are okay… most of them are brand new. I also want to suggest that we should have more indoor facilities to equate with the keen competition we have seen so far.

“We have recorded substantial upsets in handball at this festival. Some of these results are shocking and it shows we are moving in the right direction.”
The handball boss confirmed that the federation is working round the clock to ensure the country’s women national team excels at the Africa Senior Women Championship billed for Cameroun later in the year.


Igali commends level of wrestling contests
THE Nigeria Wrestling Federation President, Daniel Igali, has commended the level of competition in the event, which began yesterday at the Indoor Sports Hall of UNIBEN.
Igali, who had complained on Friday about the one mat made available by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for wrestling competitions, added that he had to bring an additional mat so that competitions in all categories could be concluded on time.
“I have seen here that the deputy governor (Philip Shaibu) is someone, who is passionate about sports development. I brought a brand new wrestling mat to support this Festival. Just bringing it down here alone cost me N150, 000 and I will still transport it back. And I have not even told him.
“It is a mat that cost N10 million and I decided to do that because of the deputy governor (Philip Shaibu) particularly. They wanted to hire it, but I will not allow my name to be dragged into anything.
“My concern is that in festival, in a competition like this, the only legacy that we can leave behind for the wrestlers are the mats. Wrestling mats are very expensive, but for them not to have two but one really hurts me. Fortunately, with the additional one, the competition will end on time because I was able to provide one myself,” he stated 


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