The Main Organising Committee of the National Sports Festival (NSF) decided to reduce the number of team sports to participate at the Festival. Teams have been reduced from two per zone to one per zone. This is part of the protocol of reducing the risk of spread of the Covid-19 virus at the Festival to be hosted by Edo State.
The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival is expected to hold from 14th to 28th February, in Benin. The letter obtained by www.aclsports.com revealed that the MOC made the decision to safeguard the lives of all participants during the National Sports Festival
A letter from the Sports Ministry in Abuja titled: PMl/20TH NSF/S.CONFERE/12, addressed to all Honourable Commissioners/Chairmen, States Sports Commissions/Heads of Sports Councils, dated February 1, 2021, directed that only teams that finished first at the zonal qualifiers would be allowed to feature at the festival.
The letter, signed by the secretary of the MOC, Peter Nelson, stated: “I write convey to you, the decision of the Main Organising Committee for the 20th National Sports Festival, to amend Rule 13 (v) of the General Rules and Regulations of the National Sports Festival (2020) by reducing the number of qualifiers from each zone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Accordingly, only one team (i.e. the team that placed first at the Zonal Eliminations), shall represent a zone in each Team Sport at the 20th National Sports Festival in order to reduce the number of participants.
“It is pertinent to state that this, amongst other measures is being put in place to safeguard the lives of all participants during the Festival. You are kindly requested to bring the content of this notification to all concerned”.
Meanwhile, some affected athletes have expressed their displeasure over the decision made without the input of the athletes who are the main actor.
They claimed that reducing the number of sports will not affect the spike of the COVID-19 virus in Benin.