Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Eko 2012 - Edo Athletes Unsure of Participation

There are strong indications that Edo State, third place finisher in the 2011 National Sports Festival, tagged Garden City Games may not take part in this year's event scheduled for November 27 to December 9 in Lagos due to lack of funds.

Sources close to the Edo State Sports Council in Benin city revealed that Governor Oshiomhole is playing hide and seek with the athletes as he has refused to approve funds for the National Sports Festival that is 17 days away.

The source who pleaded anonymity stated that the athletes and officials are cautiously optimistic over their participation as they are yet to resume camp and the governor also keeping mute over their fate, adding that all appeals through the Commissioner for Sports, Miss Anita Evbuomwan to the governor has not yielded any fruits.

"Only last week the commissioner told us during a meeting with the coaches that the governor has not approved funds for the festival because she failed to provide answer to his inquiry on how many gold medals the state could win at the Lagos festival", the source said.

The former national coach said the athletes and coaches are agitated because there is no more time for preparation.

"If by now nothing is on ground for the festival and we are not in camp, does the governor expect miracles from us. Without adequate preparations, we may not be able to even retain the third position we took in Port Harcourt", he stressed.

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