Sports Minister Solomon Dalung has confirmed that Cross River and four other States have signified intentions to host the next National Sports Festival expected to be in year 2020.
The Minister disclosed this at the Package A of the Abuja National Stadium during his routine inspection of the games.
“We have already received 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 pock up from there. So we don’t want to make that same mistake again”, Dalung disclosed to Sportinglife.ng
Dalung, however has attributed the hiccups that have almost marred the ongoing National Sports Festival 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 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”, Dalung disclosed.
The Minister said that he had to source for funds to put the facilities in good shape, to do the publicity, and other major and important aspects of preparations. He, however promised to tackle all the problems faxing athletes and officials in the Festival to ensure a successful hosting.