The contingents of Oyo and Taraba states to the 20th National Sports Festival holding in Edo State, have been disqualified.
The PUNCH gathered that they were disqualified from the competition after failing to meet the COVID-19 guidelines for the games.
The Deputy Governor, who doubles as the Local Organising Committee Chairman, Philip Shaibu, confirmed this.
He said, “The contingents of Oyo and Taraba stand disqualified from the 20th National Sports Festival unless the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 gives a counter directive as both states fail to meet the Covid-19 guidelines of the games.
“We have to be strict with the guidelines so as not to use the games as an avenue to spread COVID-19 in the state which has already been flattened. Even if the PTF gives approval for both states to be admitted, the teams have to go through strict COVID-19 screening and testing before they will be allowed into camp.”
However, a source in the Oyo State sports ministry told our correspondent that efforts are on to get the state re-admitted.
“We are trying to meet up. Our plan is to get the athletes tested before games resume,” he said.
When contacted, a member of the Media and Communication Sub-Committee, Musa Ebomhiana, said 21 states’ contingents have arrived Benin for the festival expected to officially kick off today (yesterday).
He said that six additional states arrived Benin to join the 15 states that had arrived on Friday for the festival tagged `Edo 2020’.
Ebomhiana said more states are expected before Tuesday’s opening ceremony.
The 20th NSF earlier suffered several postponements owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival is expected to see the athletes competing for 3000 medals from a total of 33 sports.
The festival will take place in 22 venues with athletes expected from the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
EDO 2020, NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
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