Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said Abuja will host the 19th National Sports Festival, if Cross River is unable to do so.
Cross Rivers won the rights to host the festival after the last Games in Lagos in 2012.
According to Dalung’s special adviser on media, Nneka Anibeze, the main Local Organizing Committee for the festival is asking the Sports Ministry for N650m to host the competition.
Dalung is, however, adamant that the event must hold after several postponements.
“They have insisted that we provide as much as N650m for them to host the festival. If we had N650m, then why did we have to go to Calabar?” Dalung said in a statement.
“We conveyed the National Council for Sports in Calabar and made several inspection tours of facilities to ensure that we hold the event this year but it does appear to us in the ministry that we might be going back to Plan B.
“Our plan B is that if Cross River State cannot host the event, we will come back to Abuja and host the National Sports Festival.
“We are determined because without the National Sports Festival we cannot enrich the talents’ profile of our athletes for national and international competitions.
“We have succeeded in hosting the National Youth Games against all odds and we will go back to our plan B if Cross River state relocates the burden of funding the games to the ministry.”