The Federal Government has stated that the decision to relist some para-sports back into the National Sports Festival is for the interest of sports development and empowerment of Nigerian youth athletes.
The Ministry of Sports had delisted para-sports from participating in the 21st National Sports Festival while affected athletes staged protest in Lagos which attracted public outcry.
The Ministry of Sports was therefore forced to rescind the earlier decision on Monday to include some of the games to participate in the 2022 National Sports Festival.
In a statement signed by
Director, Press & Public Relations which reads, “Sequel to the Virtual Meeting of the National Council on Sports held on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, where the decision was taken to remove Para Sports from the 21st NSF, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in consultation with Stakeholders in Sports hereby relists the following Para Sports to the National Sports Festival in Delta State: Para Athletics, Para Table Tennis, Para Powerlifting and Deaf Sports of (Athletics and Table Tennis).
“However, the Ministry wishes to state that their events will be limited to where Nigeria has competitive advantages.
“This decision was taken in the overall interest of Sports Development in Nigeria, as the National Sports Festival has become the Flagship Games for the discovery, grooming and empowerment of our youth athletes.
“The Ministry condemns the behaviour of some misguided athletes who engaged in unwarranted acts of protests and blackmail without recourse to due process.
These actions which led to the disturbance of public peace and the good image of Sportsmen and women, especially with the recent public acceptance of the superlative performance of Team Nigeria at the 2022 Commonwealth Games is a breach of our Sports Ethical Code.
“The Ministry wishes to state further that it will apply the rules in dealing with such acts in due course. Athletes must learn to follow the due process laid down for resolving issues.
“The facts about this administration’s commitment to the upliftment of the Para Athletes and Parasports are in the public domain, well documented.
Para Athletes are therefore, advised to henceforth exhaust the channels of communication and processes laid down for airing grievances, rather than resort to public disturbance.”