Officials and athletes from Oyo and Taraba states became the first set of casualties of the on-going National Sports Festival holding in Benin City, Edo State as both states have been disqualified from participating in the fiesta over failure to produce Covid-19 test results.
Deputy Governor of Edo State and Chairman of the local organising committee, Mr. Philip Shaibu, disclosed this on Saturday at UNIBEN sports complex shortly after inspecting the Covid-19 screening centre.
Shaibu had on Sunday, March 21, while reeling out guidelines for the festival, tagged Edo 2020, announced that athletes and officials are to present certificates and documentation of Covid-19 tests and vaccination before they will be admitted into the games villages.
He said that the guidelines were agreed upon for the National Sports Festival, following the meeting between the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and the Edo State Government.
According to him, “the LOC has decided that all athletes and officials from the 35 states and the FCT, participating in the National Sports Festival must take Covid-19 tests 72 hours before arrival for the tournament”.
In addition, all athletes and officials are to present certificates and documentation of Covid-19 tests and vaccination before they can be admitted into the games villages.
The Oyo and Taraba states’ representatives were however disappointed when they arrived at the games village, but were denied entrance over failure to comply with the Covid-19 protocols as directed by the LOC.
The two states appealed to the LOC to rescind its decision, to enable them participate in the sporting fiesta but officials of the LOC refused to budge.