Edo State Deputy Governor and Chairman of Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 20th National Sports Festival has said all is set for the commencement of the National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, scheduled to take place in the state between tomorrow, April 2 and 14, 2021.
Addressing journalists in Benin City on Thursday, Shaibu said the sports festival will begin tomorrow with the opening of the Games Village, noting that athletes and officials are to present certificates and documentation of COVID-19 tests and vaccination before they can be admitted into the Games Villages.
Shaibu stated that the Unity Torch for Edo 2020 will arrive Edo State on April 3, 2021 and will go round the 18 local governments in the state, adding that the torch for the games will arrive the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium main bowl on April 6, where the governor would light it up.
He noted: “The visa to be admitted into the Games Village is the evidence that you have taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Athletes at the Games village will also take the PCR test 72 hours before the commencement of the games. We are not going to compromise on that as we have agreed with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
“As a state, we have been able to flatten the curve of the second wave of the pandemic and will not want to use the hosting of the games to spark off another wave.”
“From about 14,000 athletes that we were expecting, we have been able to reduce it to about 8,000 athletes. We have a facility prepared for about 18,000 persons, which has now provided opportunity and space for social distancing even in the accommodation. We will have a game that is COVID-19 free,” he assured.
Speaking on Team Edo’s preparation for the Games, Shaibu said: “The 20th National Sports Festival is homecoming as Edo is the home of sports.
“Edo is hosting to win and win clean. Our athletes are set and we are in top spirit and I can assure you that we won’t disappoint the state.”
On the standard of facilities for the games, the deputy governor said:
“The idea is not to bring world class equipment for the National Sports Festival, the idea is to expose our young ones in Edo so that by the time they get used to this kind of facilities, if any of them is invited for any national or international event or other opportunities to participate in any other event, they won’t be looking too native because these are facilities they are already used to and we want to give them the best.”