Some Nigerians seemed confused as regards the participation of established athletes at the just concluded National Sports Festival, but Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung insists there was nothing wrong with it.
With the likes of Aruna Quadri, Funke Oshonaike, Blessing Okagbare all competing at the games, Dalung told ChinaAcheru.com that there was absolutely nothing wrong.
“There was nothing wrong about it. There are some of these athletes that have not tested their might nationally so you cannot take away from an athlete his/her right to compete against the best whether local or intentionally. Charity begins at home,” Dalung said.
However, the truth to it was at the National Sports Festival that just ended in Abuja was scheduled to be an Open one in which there would be no eligibility restrictions.
As regards funding for the athletes, the minister said the Federal Government played a minimal role in taking care of the athletes during the games.
According to him, the various states that participated in the competition were in charge of the welfare of their athletes.
“The states are major partners in the National Sports Festival, they provide their best athletes after embarking on series of competitions. The Federal Government through the ministry of youth and Sports has a reserved responsibility and ownership of maintaining the policy and ownership of just the games.”
The Festival ended last weekend with Delta State finishing in pole position. The hosting rights for the 2020 edition have been awarded to Edo State.