Harry Awurumibe, Abuja
Nigerians hoping to see the early return to sporting activities in the country will have to wait a little longer as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha has said the nation is not in a hurry to restart sporting events especially football.
This much was disclosed on Thursday by Mustapha who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) while speaking at PTF briefing in Abuja.
He said PTF is not excited about giving the green light for sports to return in Nigeria because sporting activities attract large crowd.
He argued that the few countries that have allowed sports to return are doing so with a condition that the stadiums would be empty.
Said he, “sporting activities attract large crowd and we are saying we don’t want a gathering of more than 20 persons except the worship centers.
We are not excited about allowing sports to return, given the slow pace manner we are reopening the economy. We will get there, but for now we are concerned with the few areas we have allowed to re open. We will continue to review the situation, know how we are faring, study the situation and know what next to do based on data, science and peculiarity of our environment.”
The PTF Chairman’s statement may have rendered useless any plans by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Leaque Management Company (LMC) to restart the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) which was suspended since two and half months ago due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Federal Ministry of Sports expectedly postponed the 2020 National Sports Festival in Edo state as well as all other sporting activities in the country.
Both world football governing body FIFA and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) had earlier suspended football activities globally and in the African continent.