The Technical Session of the National Council on Sports on Tuesday in Kaduna recommended the withdrawal of hosting rights of the National Sports Festival (NSF) from Cross River.
Adesola Olusade, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, disclosed this while speaking on the submissions by delegates of various states.
He assured that the Council would then evaluate the submissions and make a pronouncement on the basis of the decision arrived at.
“Even though the Technical Session meeting cannot withdraw hosting rights, but it can recommend to the National Council on Sports to withdraw the hosting rights of the NSF earlier awarded to Cross River.
“However, the ministry has budgeted for the NSF this year and there should be no going back in that regard.
“We must not forget that sports creates employment more than any other sector in the country. Just look back at the likes of Mikel Obi and others.
“It is my own recommendation that we recommend that the hosting rights to Cross River be withdrawn and the NSF hosted by the Federal Government in the FCT,’’ he said.
Earlier at the Technical session, delegates from Enugu State had blamed the Federal Ministry of Sports for allowing Cross River to hold the country to ransom.
They had also moved a motion for the withdrawal of hosting rights from Cross River, while bidding for the hosting rights on behalf of the South-East zone.
Anambra delegates had seconded the motion, and suggested that henceforth after any state was given hosting right, there should be a state placed on standby in case of any disappointment.
Ebonyi delegates had said that, by not getting ready, Cross River had evden withdrawn from hosting tactically.
Imo delegates also said a definite action should be taken, while suggesting that the NSF be taken to the FCT, which should always be a standby host.
“I think we should not let this year waste again,” an Imo representative said.
The Kwara Director of Sports, Tunde Kazeem, however appealed to the Federal Government to give the states some financial support to attend the Festival after a new venue must have been picked.
“We still want government intervention, because states don’t have it in their budget. So, the ministry should write to President Muhammadu Buhari for intervention or a bailout to ensure the Festival holds this year,” Kazeem who is the Chairman of Directors of Sports’ Forum said.(NAN)