Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, is not comfortable with a declaration by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, who has ruled out the return of sporting activities in the country, especially football, for now.
Mustapha, who spoke at Thursday’s briefing in Abuja, said PTF was not excited about giving the green light for sports to return in the country, since sporting activities attract large crowd.
“While other countries are counting their loses and how to get back to sport business, we are refusing to start sport participation in Nigeria. This is because the government is not aware of what sport means to the entire gamut of national development,” Adelabu said in a message to The Guardian yesterday.
Speaking further, Adelabu, who played club football with IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan said: “We expected the federations to come up with strategic plans on how to return to active sport participation, so that we can evaluate the effectiveness of such strategy and perfects it for future purpose. But to my surprise, nothing was forthcoming.
“Even if we do not know what to do, at least we can follow the examples of other countries. We are ready to start by telling the government the strategy to preserve the lives of the athletes. Sport is business for a lot of people, and if the government is opening up other areas, sport should not be left behind,” the former Eko United FC manager added.
Among other things, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had stated on Thursday that sporting activities attract large crowd and it doesn’t want a gathering of more than 20 persons. “The few countries that have allowed sports to return are doing so with a condition that the stadiums would be empty. We are not excited about allowing sports to return, given the slow pace manner we are re-opening the economy. We will get there, but for now we are concerned with the few areas we have allowed to re-open”.
The Guardian recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari announced the postponement of Edo 2020 National Sports Festival three days to its commencement in Benin City, just as the Nigerian Professional League (NPFL), was suspended by the League Management Board (LMC).