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Despite Shutdown Threat, FG Insists Sports Festival Will Continue

The federal government has insisted that the activities at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State will continue as planned despite shutdown threats by the Local Organising Committee.

The LOC on Wednesday had said that the federal government was yet to redeem its pledge to support the host state financially for the cost of postponement, which has left it with no option but to ned the games by noon on Thursday.

But in a statement by Assistant Director Press, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ramon Balogun said the federal government is unaware of any threat by Edo state to shut down the sports festival.

“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,” a statement signed by Sports Ministry spokesman Ramon Balogun, said.

“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 festival was officially flagged off on Tuesday after several postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic .

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