President Buhari Will Declare National Sports Festival Open – Deputy Gov.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will declare the 2020 National Sports Festival in Edo State open on March 22.
Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu stated this in Benin City on Tuesday after inspecting facilities at venues for the national sporting event.
“We have put everything in place for an unprecedented National Sports Festival. I’m happy to inform you that the President will declare the Games open on March 22, while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will declare the event closed,” Shaibu said.
Shaibu said the state was working hard towards ensuring that Edo 2020 was the best Games ever in the history of the NSF, which was first held at the National Stadium, Lagos in 1973.
“We are going to have about 17 centres that the events will take place in because like we’ve always said, we want to redefine how the Games are being hosted, so that at the end of the day, Edo will be a reference point. For us, Edo is the home of sports,” Shaibu added.
The deputy governor, an acclaimed footballer on the domestic scene, who featured for Insurance FC, said Edo was hosting to win the competition, adding that their athletes have been given the necessary exposure and training to bring glory to the state.
“We are hosting to win and win clean,” Shaibu stated.
“We’ve since started work; since we got the nod to host the festival, our athletes have been going for all the national games. We’ve exposed them to compete with majority of the athletes that they would meet at Edo 2020. We also ensured that they competed recently in Akure (Allcomers Track and Field competition), with most of the athletes that would be going for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We’ve given them the necessary exposure.
“They will move to camp this week, so what we need to build now is team spirit. We are conscious of not keeping them too long in camp. I was an active sportsman and I know that when you overstay in camp, you hit form and lose form. By the time you get to the tournament proper, you become rusty.”