Sports Minister Commends Buhari For Re-Opening Of Football League

By Sunday Akintoye

The Federal Minister  of Youth and Sports Development,  Mr. Sunday  Dare  has commended President Mohammadu Buhari  and the Presidential Task Force  on Covid-19 for reopening football and team sports without fans in line with Covid-19  guidelines.

Dare also thanked President Buhari for also reopening the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation camps for the sake of youth population.  

It would be recalled that the   National Coordinator of  the Presidential  Task Force on Covid-19,  Dr. Sani Aliyu had on Thursday announced  the reopening of  sports without  fans under the close supervision of  the Federal Ministry of  Youth and Sports Development and the National  Agency for Disease  Control. 

According  to a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr Gabriel Aduda,  “ We commend President,Mohammadu Buhari, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 for reopening  football and team sports and the NYSC Orientation which has been  in the cooler  since the outbreak of Covid-19. We are happy that our athletes can now return to action and do what they know how best to do and our youth can return to camp.  The last few months have been very tough for our athletes as well as the Ministry.

The statement said the Ministry shall ensure full compliance with all necessary protocols and tests before approval is given for resumption or sporting activity or football matches. Approval must be sought and given before any game is played, all protocols must be put in place and guidelines obeyed as directed by PTF and NCDC.” The Ministry has set up a COVID-19 monitoring and approval team for every sport engagement and event.  

While assuring that all steps for the resumption of the Nigerian domestic League is ongoing, Aduda warned that the league would not resume until basic conditions are fulfilled. “Indeed, the steps to return our football league to prime position is ongoing.

The domestic  League will not commence until the regulations and controls in the aspect of financial and licensing control are put in place. The NFF must  put clubs on notice and enforce these regulations and controls  as stipulated, otherwise  the Nigerian Professional and  Amateur  Leagues would not be approved  for resumption”. 

Earlier, the Minister had directed the (Nigerian Football Federation(NFF) to  communicate with the clubs the need to comply fully with financial controls and regulation as stipulated in the rule book  before a date can be fixed for the resumption of the  league.

Sunday Akintoye

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