DIRECTORS of sports across the country, Tuesday, blamed state governors’ failure to release funds for the National Youth Games (NYG) as reason for postponement of the competition billed to hold in Asaba, Delta State, next month.
The Federal Ministry of Sports 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, Ismaila Abubakar, stated in a statement made available to press that the postponement is due to “logistics and time constraints, especially, taking cognizance of the commencement of the general elections slated for February 25, 2023,” some of the states’ directors of sports, said major reason is their inability to secure the necessary funds to camp, train their athletes and also feature in the competition.
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.
It was learnt that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and Delta State, as well as other stakeholders met on Tuesday, 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.”
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