National Sports Festival Continues As Planned -  FG - IReporteronline
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National Sports Festival Continues As Planned –  FG

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The battle of wits between the Edo State Government and the Federal Government over the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, holding in Benin City, Edo State capital, continued on Thursday as the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, MYSD, said that the sports fiesta continues as scheduled.

The Federal Government’s stance runs contrary to the decision taken late Wednesday night by the Local Organising Committee, LOC, headed by Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor, Edo State, that the Festival would be shut down mid-day today because the had reneged on its promise to reimburse the state government for the several postponements of the fiesta dues to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

But in a statement issued by the ministry early this morning and titled “National Sports Festival in Benin Continues”, the Federal Ministry insisted that it had not received any communication from the host state regarding the shutdown of the fiesta.

 

The ministry, however,  in the statement signed by Ramon Balogun Assistant Director Press Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, admitted that though it received a request for financial assistance from the Edo State Government and such was being processed, ” the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information”.

The full text of the statement reads:

“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.

“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.

“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.

“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival”.

The fiesta started on April 2 but was officially declared open on April 6 and is expected to run till April 14.

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Sports

Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Is The Best In Nigeria – Kwara Deputy Gov

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The Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi, says the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State is the best in Nigeria and capable of hosting international tournaments, The PUNCH reports.

During his tour of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in company with Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, on Thursday, Alabi praised Governor Godwin Obaseki for using sports as a tool to empower the people of Edo.

Alabi said, “I want to state categorically that Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is the best stadium in Nigeria. I have gone around the stadium from the tennis, badminton and squash courts, to the gymnastics hall and swimming pool. All I can say is that Edo State Government has invested hugely in the sporting sector.

“With the facilities on ground, Edo can host AFCON matches, African Games and the Olympics events. Governor Godwin Obaseki is doing well in the area of engaging the youths through sports and, I know in the nearest future, the state will become a force to reckon with in the sports industry.”

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Sports Festival: Team Ogun Claim Five Gold

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Team Ogun win five gold medals on Friday at the National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State.

Oluwakemi Oladipo (T3) opened the gold rush in the para-athletics event, which took place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium main bowl, winning the 100m event, beating teammate Dauda Aina, who claimed silver, while Team Delta picked the bronze.

It was the fourth gold medal for the team, having won a gold medal in Taekwondo on Day Two of the festival.

There was more to celebrate for Team Ogun in Benin City on Friday as Dorcas Adesokan won another gold medal in the badminton female singles event, after defeating No.2 seed Ruth Ebere from Edo in the final. Sofiat Obanishola of Kwara State shared the bronze medal with Team Edo’s Deborah Ukeh.

They claimed their third gold in men’s golf single match at the Benin Golf Club as Lateef Lasisi emerged winner ahead of Kano’s Haruna Mohammed and Edo’s Sam Agbiyegbe.

To bring the medal rush to an end on Friday, Bukunmi Afolayan and Adebisi Adekansi delivered gold medals in the scrabble ladies doubles event with a perfect score at the Imaguero College venue.

Team Ogun have a total of 24 medals (six gold, four silver and 14 bronze) at the festival.

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Sports Festival: Edo Top In Kickboxing

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Home fans went into wild jubilations at the Ogbemudia Indoor Sports Hall, the venue for kickboxing, as Team Edo emerged champions ahead of Delta and Bayelsa in the kickboxing events at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Benin City, The PUNCH reports.

The event, which ended Friday, had the hosts emerging as clear winners with a total of 31 medals (16 gold, eight silver and seven bronze).

Team Delta finished second with seven gold, 11 silver and nine bronze, bringing their total medals to 27, while Team Bayelsa finished third in the event with five gold, four silver and three bronze.

Speaking with The PUNCH after the event, a delighted Okporu Augustine, one of Team Edo’s coaches, said, “I am very happy because we worked hard for this tournament and our hard work paid off.

“We won 16 gold, eight silver and seven bronze. Many had thought Team Delta would be the winners, but the reverse is the case.

“This is as a result of the collective efforts of the coaching crew, who worked day and night. Team Edo were highly motivated and the result is what we are seeing now.”

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