Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 9 August 2018 | 1,080 times
There are indications that the Anambra State Government may face N5m fine by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development if the state fails to participate in this year’s National Youth Games scheduled for Ilorin in September.
The Sports Ministry in the state was scrapped in April this year, subsequently putting sports in the state in limbo. As a result, there are no visible signs of preparations ahead of the games.
When News Express visited the former office of the ministry located behind the government in Awka, it was a ghost of itself, devoid of the usual hustle and bustle associated with it.
The Awka township stadium was no different as the gates remained under lock and key.
Though the South-East zonal eliminations for the Games are billed to start on August 23, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, the Chairman of the proposed commission, Mr. Tony Oli, had told the officials that Anambra State would not take part in the games as he was not ready to present a team that is nor well prepared.
Some directors in the former ministry of sports declined comment on the possibility of Anambra participating in the Games or its programmes.
They said the picture was not clear and that they would not want to be quoted.
“I don’t know, don’t ask me, look for the chairman,” a director in the ministry said.
A retired veteran sports administrator in the state, Cyprian Amuzie, regretted that sports have taken a downward turn in the state.
Amuzie, who retired as an Acting Permanent Secretary in the defunct Ministry wondered if the state’s likely absence was due to paucity of funds or lack of organisation.
His words: “What is their problem; money or what? It is sad that Anambra which went for competitions every other week in the past will be missing a big event like the National Youth Games.
“We were second in the school sports at a time but now the whole thing has come to a halt, some of us were not consulted in what is going on in sports in the state.
“Those in charge should know that sport is a practical thing, it is not like other places where people go for their pockets, I know how we laboured to build it, they should not kill sports.”
On his part, Chairman of Anambra State chapter of old Rangers International Players’ Association, Arthur Ebunam, said it would amount to failure of Gov. Willie Obiano if the state failed to participate.
While regretting the scrapping of the Ministry of Sports, he said there was no way sports could move forward in the state under a sports Commission that had no organisational structure.
Efforts to speak with the chairman of the proposed sports commission, Oli, yielded no result failed as he did not pick his calls.
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