Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare says contact sports will soon resume in the country under strict protocols as recommended by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The minister disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja after the unveiling of the National Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Hub (BredHub).
He said the ministry was working closely with the PTF to ensure contact sports resumes in the country under strict COVID-19 protocols.
“As we see gradual opening up of different sector of the economy, we have prepared a post COVID-19 protocols.
“We hope in the next two weeks, contact sports will return subject to the strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
Dare stressed that the ministry will be properly guided as various sporting events gradually returns to the country following the ban as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are going to be properly guided on the National Sports Festival as we are working with the PTF, Health ministry, NCDC.
“We have sent a team to the National Sports Council.
“We hope that before the end of this year, we can have the national sports festival, of course with some modifications, it can be staggered,” he said.
On the resumption of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), he maintained that club sides who have not met with the regulations set will not partake in the coming season.
He said any club that does not have N200m in its account won’t be allowed to play in the NPFL alongside other conditions.
“Very clearly we have decided that since the Federal Executive Council have classified sports as a business, there are certain steps that must be taken to make sure the entire co-system keys into that business model.
“One of the first steps is the fact that our domestic league must run as a business and to do that you must have regulations, financial control.
“There is a new enforcement regime for our domestic league as they must have a minimum of N200m in their account to show they can take care of their players,” he said.