At the closing ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF), “Abuja 2018”, on December 16, 2018, Edo was announced as the host of the 20th biennial sports festival. Solomon Dalung, then Minister of Youth and Sports Development, said the state was elected after a thorough evaluation of his candidacy.
The minister said that Edo had defeated the Delta, Imo and Cross River states to obtain the right to organize. Governor Edo Godwin Obaseki, who was present on occasion, said the state would live up to expectations. “We accept this challenge and we will be ready to welcome all of Nigeria as planned in Benin in 2020,” Obaseki said.
Obaseki explained that Bendel State, which were then Edo and Delta, won the right of the NSF host in 1981, while Edo was the host of the rest of Nigeria in 2002. The ministry made sure that Edo was entitled to Avoid the circumstances that led to not celebrating the festival for six years.
At the closing ceremony of the 18th NSF in Lagos in 2012, Cross River was announced as the host of the 19th NSF. The state could not establish the necessary infrastructure for the festival in 2014.
Due to the failure of the Cross River government, the right of the reception was withdrawn, while the 19th NSF was finally held in Abuja in 2018. To avoid any delay, the Edo government reacted immediately and the state obtained the right to lodging.
The main stadium, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, has been rebuilt over the past year and has almost 95% progress. Femi James, the site engineer at Peculiar Ultimate Consult, said the stadium would be one of the best in the county once completed.
According to James, the main stadium of the stadium will benefit from FIFA’s facilities, such as a surveillance monitor and a standard study, which will facilitate the transmission of live matches. “As you can see, a lot has been achieved. While several teams are installed and others are completed, the installation of the seats is also completed.
“This stadium, which is among the best in the country, will be equipped with a surveillance monitor located 5 km away from radio and a studio.” It will be practically the only stadium in the country with these facilities. “The stadium will be compared to that of Uyo and Abuja only once completed.
“With respect to the tracks, we have completed the preparatory work and we are only waiting for the arrival of the facility from Germany, whose payments have been made,” he said. James added that outside the tracks, payments had been made for the headlights and scoreboard.
“We have already installed lights in all covered stands and we have also installed shadow lights for the lawn; we are waiting for the arrival of the reflectors and the mark for the installation”.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare, who recently visited the stadium, congratulated the governor on his government’s commitment to strengthening sport development by investing in the reconstruction of Samuel Ogbemudia stadium and others. state sports facilities. Sports fans who place live betting have also praised the governor’s efforts in sports development in the state.
He said that based on what is on the ground; The state was ready to host the NSF 2020. Mr. Obaseki said he was ready to welcome the NSF.
“I am impressed by the total reconstruction of the stadium into a 21st-century model building. We built the land; The tracks must be replaced. The pool, tennis courts and indoor courts look new. “
Mr. Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor and President of Edo, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) 2020 NSF, assured that all venues and sports facilities would be ready by December 31, 2019. Shaibu restored it in accordance with rules of this great sports tournaments; The mascot and the game song have already been presented with 100% local content.
The mascot was called “Etin”, which, in the Beninese dialect, means force and designed by Anthony Ifemeje. He reiterated that the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the main venue for the festival and other venues, was nearing completion.
Shaibu said that aside from Abuja National Stadium, Edo would be the first state to hold a double squash match, while Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium now has a ready-to-use Video Assist (AVR) facility.
He said the 12 subcommittees worked around the clock to ensure a trouble-free festival. He added that the main organizing committee (CM) would soon begin to train the officers responsible for the accreditation of athletes and officials.
The vice-governor said the services of 2,000 to 3,000 volunteers would be needed for the proper management of the games. He added that the volunteers would be recruited through an advertisement that would be placed on the gaming portal so that the game runs smoothly and is titled “The Return of the Native”.
“Edo has been suspended for 11 to 12 years, which has lost potential in Nigeria. We are ready to welcome 35 more states and Abuja on the return of indigenous peoples Edo is ready to take his place in the sport,” Shaibu said.
Mr. Mike Itemuagbon, Chairman of the Marketing Subcommittee, stated that no less than 8,500 athletes are expected to participate in the 20th NSF, which will take place from March 22 to April 1, 2020.
Athletes will compete for 3,000 medals in 33 sports at 22 venues. Itemuagbon called for synergy between the advertising and marketing committees and urged the advertising committee to use several platforms to sell the festival to the world.
“Nothing will be left to chance to ensure the best organized NSF in the country, but then we have to fulfill our various responsibilities,” said Itemuagbon.
“We need to understand that media and marketing are the engines of the game.” So we have to use our different platforms to spread the Edo2020 event.”
To guarantee the free movement of athletes and officials to the competition places, Governor Obaseki announced the completion of the project to buy more than 100 new buses, which will be added to the Edo City’s Transport Services (ECTS) fleet.
According to the governor, the State is ending the talks with the interested actors for the supply of the vehicles. Everyone should be on the bridge to allow Edo to keep his promise to organize a world-class national sports festival.
This report was filed by Igbaugba Ehigimetor for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)