The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalong, has advised state governors to stop using sports facilities for social events like marriages, weddings and carnivals.
Mr. Dalung gave the advice, Saturday in Calabar after inspecting facilities at the UJ Esuene Stadium and some of the facilities slated for use during the forthcoming National Sports Festival.
“The turf of the football pitch here appears to be in bad shape and there is evidence that it was in good shape before but along the line, something happened,” the minister said.
“So, I suggest that football pitches across the country be exclusively used for those things that they are meant for and not to be subjected to other events that could destroy the turf.
“Invariably, what I am suggesting is that, state governments should not subject sports facilities to other events such as marriage, wedding, Carnival, cultural events and so on.”
Besides the high cost of maintaining the sports facilities, the minister said the advice became necessary bcause of the poor maintenance culture of Nigerians.
He, therefore, called on Cross River Government to work on the facilities to get them ready for the festival, saying, “a lot still needs to be done.”
The minister and his team inspected the football pitch, volleyball, handball and basketball courts, as well as accommodation facilities at the Cross River University of Technology, Calabar.
Also speaking, the Cross River Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Asu Okang, said the state had the capacity to host the festival if given the final nod.
Meanwhile, participants at the ongoing National Council on Sports in Calabar have resolved that the 19th National Sports Festival be held in the city from Nov. 8 – 21.
The meeting also resolved that the second edition of the National Youth Games be hosted by the University of Ilorin, Unilorin, Kwara State with 22 sports on the bill.