The 19th National Sports Festival will now hold in Abuja in November, the National Council of Sports has resolved.
A statement issued in Abuja by Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung said that the hosting right given to Cross River has been officially withdrawn.
The decision was taken at the National Council on Sports meeting which ended on Thursday at the General Hassan Katsina House, Kaduna.
The minister aide said that voting process was thrown open on the floor by the Chairman, Dalung, with state Commissioners for Sports, Directors of sports, Chairmen of state sports councils, sports policy facilitators and other representatives in the sports sector in attendance.
“Having postponed the 19th National Sports Festival for six years, the Council resolved that the continued delay of the hosting of the Festival was detrimental to the growth of Sports in Nigeria.Therefore, withdrawing the hosting rights from Cross River State will enable the Federal Government holds the 2018 edition in Abuja in November, the council resolved. The Council also approved the reduction of the age of athletes eligible to participate in the National Youth Games to 15 years as upper limit of age.”
According to Ikem-Anibeze, the council also resolved that overaged athletes, their erring coaches and states will be disqualified and fined the sum of N250,000 per disqualified athlete.
“The council adopted a presentation to National Council on Establishment of Lateral Conversion of Coaches to enable them to progress in their cadres.The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports was also directed to embellish the draft Implementation Guidelines for the National Sports Policy and circulate to members for inputs. The council also approved the revised National Sports Policy for 2018, with instruction that it should be reviewed every four years,” he said.