*Says Sports Festival is an avenue for youths and young talents to make Nigeria proud in the future
By Okechukwu Emmanuel
The administrator of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr. Tom Boniface has appealed to the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, to ensure that the National Sports Festival (NSF) holds on its rescheduled dates in January 2021.
Boniface made the appeal in an interview with Sports 247 and the NAN in Abuja.
The NSF had earlier been scheduled to hold in December 2020 in Edo State but was rescheduled to next year for the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the country.
According to him, he said “A few weeks ago, the National Council of Sports (NCS) scheduled the festival to hold between Dec. 3 to 18, but members of the PTF later objected to the idea due to COVID-19 situation.
“I, therefore, appeal to the Federal Government, through the PTF, to ensure that we don’t have cancellation of the NSF anymore, ” he appealed.
According to him, NSF is the venue that the sports federations use to unify and engage the youths, as well as an avenue to discover young talents that could make Nigeria proud in the future.
Boniface decried the situation whereby the NSF suffered several postponements in recent times, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The PTF has canceled the first date which was expected to hold on December 3rd to 14th, and a new kick off date has been fixed on January 3rd to 17th, 2021.
“The new date is to allow the PTF, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Edo State Government and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, to complete the necessary steps and processes as assigned,” he explained.
Boniface said the new arrangement was to ensure a hitch-free Festival and deployment of rapid diagnostic test kits for over 11,000 athletes that would participate in the event.
He expressed appreciation to Mr. Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, for his efforts in ensuring that a new date was set for the NSF.
“I appeal to PTF to cooperate with the sports ministry and make this new date a reality,” he said.
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