The severally postponed 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) originally meant to take place in March through April 2020 in Benin City, Edo State, now has new definitive dates.

The new dates for the multiple sports competition tagged Edo 2020 is now December 03 to December.

The biennial sports fiesta was postponed a few days to the kick-off due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in March.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja hosted the immediate past edition in 2018.

The new dates were confirmed in a statement signed by the Sports Ministry’s Press Director, Lere Adams after the end of a two-day technical session of National Council on Sports (NCS) 22nd meeting in Asaba.

The NSC recommended that the Games Village would open on Thursday, December 03 and close on Friday, December 18 as the opening ceremony is scheduled for December 05 while the closing ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 17.

The competition days phase 1, comes up December 06 to December 10, break and arrivals for second phase comes up Friday, December 11 and competition days for the second phase from December 12 to December 16, 2020.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who is the Chairman of Council assured that all the guiding protocols of the  presidential taskforce on COVID-19 shall be fully implemented, adding that all infrastructure is in place as confirmed by the National Assembly inspection visit to the state.

Dare and all members present commended Governor of Delta state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who on short notice approved the hosting of the council in the state capital, Asaba.

On his part the deputy governor of Edo State, Hon. Philip Shaibu, who was also present at the meeting, reaffirmed the state’s readiness of daily testing of Covid-19 rules for all athlete and officials who will attend the competition.

“It is indeed heart-warming that the long awaited NSF is holding this year 2020 as jointly approved the National Council on Sports, today in Asaba,” said Shaibu.

The recommendations of the NSC are however subject to the buy-in of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) and final approval by the President Muhammadu Buhari.