The 19th National Sports Festival which was earlier slated for Calabar in Cross Rivers State in 2015 but has suffered series of postponement may not hold soon due to paucity of funds to bankroll the biennial event.
The last edition of the biennial sports fiesta was held in Lagos State in 2012.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who gave the indication during a visit to the corporate headquarters of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust, Daily Trust on Saturday, Daily Trust on Sunday and other titles, said the proposal for the fiesta which was included in 2017 budget has been removed.
Dalung said unless the ministry gets intervention from the corporate world, the fiesta that has produced the country’s best athletes would not hold in a near future.
“The total budget of the federal ministry of youth and sports is N7.7 billion, and out of this the Nigeria Football Federation’s budget for the World Cup qualifiers and participation alone is N6.8 billion. So, unless there is intervention from somewhere, the National Sports Festival will not hold this year,” Dalung said.