As the curtains gradually draw closer on the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival tagged “Delta 2022”, six States of Nigeria have so far indicated interest to host the next edition in 2024, reports Completesports.com.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare who disclosed this Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the Delta State capital said the ministry will take time in picking the next host among the applicants
Dare who was answering questions from journalists said that presently, he does not know which State is going to be the next host until the Committee which is headed by the Director of, the National Sports Festival & Para Sports Department of the ministry submits the reports of the bids for the 2024 National Sports Festival.
He stated further that the report which will reveal the next host is likely to be submitted on Friday, December 9, 2022; which is the eve of the closing ceremony for this Festival.
“The process will ensure that states whose bids are considered the second and third respectively will get prepared to avoid what happened in the past that saw Cross River State unable to host the event for more than six years, ” Dare said.
“When we held Edo 2020 [ National Sports Frstival], Edo set a standard. It is a change of baton. Now that we are holding Delta 2022, they knew they had to either give the same standard as Edo or do better. So we signposted that any State that will host must be ready. After Edo State, we set up a Committee to review the MOU.
“So before any State engages, there are clear terms and processes and once you sign it, you must abide by it, that is very important, but this time around, we will announce the winner-State and then keep the runners-up close to our chest”, the Minister emphasized.
“We knew then that if Delta would not make it, Abuja was ready. At this point, there are six States that are jostling and the interest is increasing. There is a timeline. We know when a State is not ready and if that happens, we will just switch over to the runners-up” the Minister concluded.
By Richard Jideaka in Asaba
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