Minister for Sports and Youths development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has revealed that Cross River and four other States have shown in hosting the next National Sports Festival in the year 2020.
The FCT Abuja decided to host the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival after Cross Rivers who was awarded the hosting were unable to do so due to lack of funds and facilities.
The Minister told journalists at the Abuja National Stadium during his routine inspection of the games yesterday that Cross Rivers has reignited their interests, along with three other states.
“We have already received an expression of interests from about four or five states including Cross River (the initial host). What I have developed as tender rules is to make sure that we do not go down the way of where we were coming from.”
”One of the challenges which made Cross River not to host was that the Governor who got the hosting right was on his terminal days. So he handed over to a new person (Governor) who couldn’t pick up from there. So we don’t want to make that same mistake again.”
There was complains from athletes and officials about the state of facilities and timing at the ongoing games, but the Minister attributed the hiccups to late preparations for the competition and late release of funds.
“In human situation, there is nothing that is perfect. Challenges usually are what inspire us to improve and advance.
“Definitely, I expected more of these complaints. Why because it takes two years to plan the National Sports Festival. We (FCT) are hosting this Festival appropriation of nine (9) months”.
”We came to remedy a bad situation. Therefore some of these challenges might exist due to the exigencies of time. Secondly, funds did not come handy as at when expected. In fact, funds were released to us two days to the opening ceremony,” he concluded.