The 20th National Sports Festival billed to flag off in Benin City, Edo State, this weekend has been postponed.
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, made the announcement on Tuesday via his official Twitter handle.
The minister, who had earlier revealed that the sports ministry was meeting with the counterparts in the health ministry, confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate postponement of the biannual multi-sporting event to a later date yet to be decided.
He wrote: “President Mohammadu Buhari approves the postponement of the National Sports Festival Edo 2020 as a precautionary move against COVID-19 spread.
“Following the briefing from myself and health Minister.
“Following the briefing of Mr. President from myself and the Minister of State for Health on COVID 19, Mr President approved the immediate postponement of Edo Sports festival to a future date.”
Before this official announcement, there had been calls in different quarters to postpone the National Sports Festival due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
According to the organisers, about 11,000 athletes and their officials had declared readiness to participate in this edition tagged Edo 2020.
The National Sports Festival was designed to showcase the best athletes in the country, from elite to up-and-coming, exceptionally gifted, young athletes discovered from every nook and cranny of Nigeria, across all Olympic sports, in a festival of healthy competition, cultural exchange, unity, love and friendship in the true spirit and tradition of the Olympic movement.
The three main objectives for establishing the games were to develop and showcase Nigeria’s best in all sports, to unite the youths of the country.