Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Executive Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, says the Benin Invitational Relays scheduled to hold from June 3 and June 4 in Benin, Edo, was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and security challenges.
Dudu-Orumen stated this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
“The relay has been put on hold; I will restructure and consult with my bosses and probably shape out a model that will be agreeable to PTF on COVID-19 and Security agencies before we bring it back.
“International athletes were already on ground for the relay but unfortunately it didn’t hold as scheduled; superior powers said we could not hold it based on security, COVID-19 and so on.
“Athletes from Ghana and Togo arrived but they had to go back. We appealed to them because information on the cancellation came late,” Dudu-Orumen said.
He, however, said efforts were on to choose a new date for the event, which he said was also designed to generate money for the maintenance of facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium.
“You know the State government invested in facilities used for the National Sports Festival (NSF), and to run facilities, we need activities that will generate revenue; it is from such activities that we can do maintenance and the rest of it.
“The event would have been an opportunity to see the progress made by our athletes in preparation for next year’s NSF because Edo State is not going to poach athletes, we will use our own athletes.
According to him the invitational relay has been designed to hold three times in a year and that when it eventually holds, it will help upgrade the skills of athletes.